The late Patric Standford may have written these short pieces deliberately to provoke our feedback. If so, his success is reflected in the rich range of readers' comments appearing at the foot of most of the pages.
The term Bach usually refers to the German composer Johann Sebastian Bach or, less frequently, to the Bach family, to the motif BACH on the notes of his name, or to one of his composer sons - normally Wilhelm Friedemann Bach, Carl Philip Emanuel Bach, Johann Christoff Friedrich Bach or Johann Christian Bach.
CD Spotlight. Compositional Thought - Piano music by John Corigliano, recommended by Karen Haid. 'Oppens and Lowenthal give strong performances of this music.'
Consummate Artists - Malcolm Troup reports on the BPSE Summer Festival at London's Regent Hall, where for the first time Music, not consumerism, called the shots
Great Energy - Timothy Byram-Wigfield plays the organ at Derby Cathedral and impresses Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Immense Promise - Malcolm Miller reports on the recent Israeli and Bloch music competitions
Profile. All-Involving - Turkish pianist Idil Biret talks to Bill Newman
CD Spotlight. Unaffected Restraint - Halida Dinova plays music that tells stories, heard by Howard Smith. '... a mesmerising interpreter ...'
Ensemble. Artistic Freedom - Giuseppe Pennisi visits the sophisticated music festival in a Tuscan mountain convent and stays for the full three days
CD Spotlight. Composer's Authority? - J S Bach transcribed for guitar, heard by Robert Anderson. '... consummate skill ...'
Ask Alice - Trendy in Bromley, and bluesy music with a twist, with classical music agony aunt Alice McVeigh
CD Spotlight. Deeply Satisfying - Elena Kuschnerova plays J S Bach, selected by Howard Smith. '... decisive and fresh as a dewfall.'
Ensemble. A Memorable Programme - Bach Cantatas at London's Royal Academy of Music, heard by Malcolm Miller
CD Spotlight. Quite Breathtaking - David Korevaar plays Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier, admired by Howard Smith. '... lots to admire ...'
New Year Blues - A roundup of recent London concerts by Bill Newman
CD Spotlight. Brave Assurance - Elmar Oliveira plays J S Bach, heard by Robert Anderson. '... full and vibrant ...'
Ensemble. Cultural Delights - Gerald Fenech visits Slovenia for Festival Maribor
DVD Spotlight. Ho hum! - Vidor Nagy plays Bach and Paganini, reviewed by Howard Smith. '... moments of splendour.'
Ensemble. Very Rewarding - The Derwent Singers, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Searing Eloquence - A centenary performance of Elgar's Violin Concerto, heard by Robert Anderson
CD Spotlight. Striking Musicianship - Elena Kuschnerova plays Prokofiev, heard by Howard Smith. '... sparkling, lyrical and appropriately balletic ...'
Ensemble. Glowing Performance - The Sitwell Singers begin a new season, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Incisive Energy - Music-making by Natalie Clein and Sinfonia Viva, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ask Alice - On the gooey bits of pigeons and Bach's B minor Mass, with classical music agony aunt Alice McVeigh
CD Spotlight. Haste or Speed - J S Bach gamba sonatas, heard by Robert Anderson. '... sensitive and very musical.'
Heroes Step Up in Crisis - The Muti era lays claim to Chicago, by Barbara Sealock
CD Spotlight. Beautifully Considered - Music for violin and viola, heard by Howard Smith. 'Braun has a firm, bright, highly focused tone ...'
CD Spotlight. A Wondrous Variety - Piano music by Chopin and Liszt, heard by Robert Anderson. '... Dominic Piers Smith survives not only intact but triumphant ...'
CD Spotlight. Almost a Transformation - David Rubinstein plays Busoni, heard by K C Devereaux. '... Rubenstein's hand is steady on the tiller.'
Ensemble. An Ecstatic Success - Giuseppe Pennisi visits the Sagra Musicale Malatestiana
CD Spotlight. Eclectically Balanced - An organ recital by SooHwang Choi, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... expressive beauty.'
Ensemble. Orchestral Firepower - Lawrence Budmen sends his final report from the 2010 Tanglewood Festival
CD Spotlight. Beautifully Managed - Music for flute and guitar, heard by Howard Smith. '... reflective and purposeful ...'
Ensemble. Performance to Cherish - Lawrence Budmen submits a further report from the Tanglewood Festival 2010
A Performance to Remember - A recital by Emanuel Rimoldi impresses Bill Newman
CD Spotlight. Finely Judged - Brahms and Schumann piano quartets, heard by Robert Anderson. 'This is music-making both sensitive and relaxed.'
Linear Clarity - Julian Jacobson's Wigmore Hall recital impresses Malcolm Miller
Flowers of Light - Puccini's 'I crisantemi' as a pedagogical tool for piano performance majors, by Heidi Lowy
CD Spotlight. Programmatic Titles - Piano music by John Pitts, heard by Patric Standford. 'The performances by Steven Kings are excellent ...'
CD Spotlight. Great Abilities - Piano trios by Donald Tovey, heard by Robert Anderson. '... diatonic convictions ...'
Ask Alice - On songwriters and gamba sonatas, with classical music agony aunt Alice McVeigh
CD Spotlight. Thoughtfully Appealing - Judith Lambden plays J S Bach, heard by Howard Smith. '... a great deal to admire ...'
Ensemble. Clearly Important - The seventh Klavessiinfestival held in Tallinn, Estonia, attended by Peter Howell
Ensemble. Under the Tuscan Sun - Giuseppe Pennisi attends the beginning of the Tiroler Festspiele 2010
Ensemble. A Cross Section - Bill Newman comments on some recent concerts at London's Wigmore Hall
Ensemble. Delightful Contributions - Nicholas Kok conducts Sinfonia Viva, heard by Mike Wheeler
His Forever - My Love Affair with Johann Sebastian Bach, by Gloria DeVidas Kirchheimer
CD Spotlight. Lyrical Powers - Orchestral music by Louis Spohr, heard by Robert Anderson. 'Howard Shelley and the Swiss orchestra clearly relish this unusual assignment.'
CD Spotlight. Utmost Clarity - William Appling plays Joplin and Bach, heard by Howard Smith. '... consistently four square, honest, unpretentious ...'
CD Spotlight. Chicago Baroque - Trio Settecento's A German Bouquet, recommended by Malcolm Tattersall. '... very fine performances of some rarely heard but attractive music ...'
CD Spotlight. A Spectral Atmosphere - Murray McLachlan plays music by Shostakovich and friends, recommended by Howard Smith. '... an outright triumph for the label and for McLachlan.'
CD Spotlight. Musical Finesse - Songs by Gregg Kallor, recommended by Howard Smith. 'Go to the top of the class.'
CD Spotlight. A Flowing Delivery - Bach Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin, heard by Howard Smith. '... vital technical flair ...'
CD Spotlight. Precocious and Talented - Music by Anna Bon di Venezia, heard by Ron Bierman. '... nuanced and cleanly articulated ...'
CD Spotlight. A Forthright Approach - J S Bach's St Matthew Passion, recommended by Howard Smith. '... the Ex Cathedra performance is a triumph.'
CD Spotlight. Robust and Spirited - James Tibbles plays J S Bach, heard by Howard Smith. '... worthy of widespread international recognition.'
Ensemble. Really On Form - A concert by the Derby Bach Choir, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Lyrical Athleticism - The Paul Taylor Dance Company and the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra celebrate Paul Taylor's eightieth birthday, reviewed by Rebecca Schmid
CD Spotlight. Splendidly Performed - Baroque music for cello, recommended by Howard Smith. 'An exemplary CD ...'
CD Spotlight. The Gamba Problem - Music by J S Bach, heard by George Balcombe. '... a number of oddities ...'
Ensemble. Brisk Ebullience - Lawrence Budmen sends a second report from this summer's Tanglewood Festival
Ask Alice - The truth about bishops and priests, with classical music agony aunt Alice McVeigh
Arts and the Colour of Politics - Béla Hartmann muses on growing social equality and democratization
Timings - Universal Edition's preparations for the Mahler Centenary years (2010-2011), by Jennifer Paull
CD Spotlight. Exceptional Assurance - J S Bach organ sonatas, heard by Howard Smith. '... an immensely satisfying conclusion.'
Bizarre Perception - Alistair Hinton discusses a recent article on English music by David Hamilton
Ensemble. Sing ye to the Lord - Roderic Dunnett was at the 2009 Hereford Three Choirs Festival
CD Spotlight. Diversely Experienced - Music for bassoon, harpsichord and double bass, impresses Howard Smith. '... an outright "tour de force".'
Marvelously Gifted - Bill Newman listens to pianist Alexander Romanovsky
Ensemble. Clarity of Texture - Lawrence Budmen listens to the Remenyi Ede Chamber Orchestra
Ensemble. Elemental Music - Malcolm Miller listens to music-theatre works by Harrison Birtwistle
Ensemble. Excellent Throughout - A lunchtime piano recital by Maiko Mori, heard by Bill Newman
Ensemble. Exceptional Gifts - Lawrence Budmen reports from the 2009 Miami International Piano Festival
Music for Musicians Only? - The public turns a deaf ear to improvised music. As for classical music, Jan Dahlstedt claims that having abandoned improvisation, classical music entered a sidetrack from which it has never escaped, thus badly stifling creative progress. If he is guilty of heresy or may have a point, read on and judge for yourself.
Ensemble. A Heavenly Blend - Joshua Habermann conducts the Master Chorale of South Florida, reviewed by Lawrence Budmen
CD Spotlight. Consistently Solid - Kurt Masur and others conduct Mendelssohn, reviewed by Howard Smith. '... too often short on graciousness, charm or buoyancy.'
CD Spotlight. Virtuoso Duo - Performances by the Elaris Duo, recommended by Malcolm Tattersall. '... all the passion, drama and integrity one could want.'
Ensemble. Humanity and Generosity - Malcolm Miller attends a memorial concert for David Sonin
Ensemble. Winning Freshness - Music by Bach, Felix and Fanny Mendelssohn, Mozart and Wagner, played by Sinfonia Viva, and heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Sovereign Horn Territory - Music for horn and orchestra, recommended by Howard Smith. '... stunning breath control and consummate understanding ...'
Record Box. Utmost Subtlety - Seung-Un Ha plays Bach's Goldberg Variations, reviewed by Robert Anderson
CD Spotlight. Shaken and Stirred - Maurice Steger plays Giuseppe Sammartini, recommended by Jennifer Paull
CD Spotlight. A Surefire Winner - A recital by Lin Jiang and Benjamin Martin, recommended by Howard Smith. '... superbly performed.'
Record Box. A Theoretician's Knowledge - Andrew Violette's Sonata for unaccompanied violin, reviewed by Howard Smith
Pure Fashion? - Several Composers in Search of an Identity, by Béla Hartmann
Record Box. Playful Scope - Marc-André Hamelin's Chopin delights Robert Anderson
Record Box. Many Pleasures - Music for guitar quartet, recommended by Ron Bierman
Ensemble. Complexity of Thought - Eugene Feygelson and Malcolm Troup play Beethoven and Bloch, reviewed by Malcolm Miller
Ensemble. A Brilliant Idea - A Bernard Stevens celebration at London's Wigmore Hall, reviewed by Bill Newman
Ensemble. Quirky Humour - Uri Caine meets Sinfonia Viva, and Mike Wheeler listens
Record Box. Sympathetic Readings - Orchestral music by Barbara Harbach, reviewed by Patric Standford
CD Spotlight. Protean Methuselah - Music by Henry Brant, investigated by Malcolm Tattersall. 'Most of us like to put composers in pigeon-holes but Brant is too big for that.'
Ensemble. Restrained Passion - Valeriy Sokolov and Eric Ferrand-N'Kaoua play Bach, Beethoven, Schumann, Enescu and Prokofiev, heard by Bill Newman
Ensemble. Sovereign Purity - Bach, Mozart and Beethoven from the Vector Wellington Orchestra, reported by Howard Smith
Thought and Understanding - Wanda Jeziorska finds food for thought in Mishka Momen's latest recital
Dynamic Extremes - Mike Wheeler enjoys Timothy Noon's recital of Bach, Bohm, Dubois, Messiaen and Widor
CD Spotlight. Virtuoso Credentials - Music for viola and piano by York Bowen, reviewed by Robert Anderson. '... above praise.'
An Interesting Programme - An organ recital by Martin Neary, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Record Box. Doubled Concertos - Malcolm Tattersall listens to Bach
The Speed Merchant - Jonathan Scott plays the organ of Derby Cathedral, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Beauty of Line - Andreas Scholl in London, heard by Robert Hugill
Hope Breaking Through - Alban Gerhardt plays Bach at Munich's 'Long Night of Music', and has a late night chat with Tess Crebbin
Rui dos Reis - Jennifer Paull interviews and investigates the Portuguese composer-pianist
DVD Spotlight. Ineluctably Absorbing - Ganelin Trio Priority live in Vilnius, enjoyed by Howard Smith. 'Jazz in Lithuania has never looked back.'
Record Box. For All Tastes - Christmas music from Germany, appreciated by Patric Standford
Richness and Clarity - Ashley Grote opens Derby Cathedral's series of summer organ recitals, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Exquisite Finesse - A concert by the Elias Quartet, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Stylistic Eclecticism - A concert by the Eden Chamber Orchestra, reviewed by Malcolm Miller
Ensemble. A Resplendent Impact - Derby Bach Choir makes its contribution to the Mozart anniversary, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Sandals and Yoghurt? - Bach at the Berlin Philharmonie, reviewed by Ciarán McAuley
DVD Spotlight. Much Resonance - Daniel Barenboim and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra in Ramallah, reviewed by Robert Anderson. '... an orchestra of first-class accomplishment.'
Masterly and Musical - An organ recital by Adrian Lucas, appreciated by Tom Corfield
Bold and Forthright - Marcus Huxley played at Derby Cathedral, and Mike Wheeler was there
Ensemble. The Journey Begins - Malcolm Tattersall is at the Australian Festival of Chamber Music 2006
Ensemble. Elegance and Agility - Bach, Arnold and Haydn from Sinfonia Viva in Derby, enjoyed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Piano meets Sitar - Malcolm Miller at a CD launch of Peter Feuchtwanger's exotic piano music
Ask Alice - On the relative merits of Bach and Wagner, with Classical Music Agony Aunt Alice McVeigh
Ensemble. Arresting Playing - A recital by Althea Ifeka and Katherine May, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. A musical treasure - Polina Osetinskaya displays fiery command in Beethoven and Liszt, appreciated by Lawrence Budmen
Ensemble. An exuberant performance - Mike Wheeler reviews the last of Derby Cathedral's summer organ recitals, given by Tom Corfield
Ensemble. Roulades of passion - Oleh Krysa and Tatiana Tchekina at London's Wigmore Hall, reviewed by Bill Newman
Record box. Push the boat out - Music for trumpets, and music for baroque lute, reviewed by Alice McVeigh
Ensemble. A veritable dynamo - A conversation with Paavo Järvi, and a review of his Miami concert in April, by Lawrence Budmen
Ensemble. Sea and sky - More from the Australian Festival of Chamber Music, reviewed by Malcolm Tattersall
A singular event - Sergei Podobedov plays Bach/Busoni, Liadov, Boris Goltz and Chopin, reviewed by David Braid
CD Spotlight. Incontrovertible logic - Gillian Weir plays Bach at St Thomas's, Leipzig, appreciated by Robert Anderson. '... skilfully explored ...'
CD Spotlight. Varied and intriguing - Contemporary music première recordings for oboe, reviewed by Patric Standford
CD Spotlight. Integrity and musicianship - Haskell Small plays Bach and Small, appreciated by Roderic Dunnett
Ensemble. A perfect marriage of music and theology - Pippa Hare was at the Tudeley Festival's performance of Bach's B minor Mass
Rosalyn Tureck - A memoir by Jenna Orkin of wtceo.org
Record box. An impressive display - John O'Donnell plays Bach on the Ahrend organ in Monash University, Australia, reviewed by Basil Ramsey
CD Spotlight. Soul-cleansing - Pergamenschikow plays the Bach solo cello suites, appreciated by Tess Crebbin. '... he goes beyond what is written ...'
Record box. Exhilarating performances - A historic organ recital by Virgil Fox, reviewed by Patric Standford
CD Spotlight. Individuated lyricism - Marianna Rashkovetsky plays Chopin, reviewed by John Bell Young. '... luscious tone and interpretive ardency.'
CD Spotlight. Passion for Bach - Dominic Miller's 'Shapes', reviewed by Tess Crebbin. '... he is a genius.'
Ensemble. Time to mature - Pianist Stewart Goodyear plays an uneven program, reviewed by Lawrence Budmen
Ensemble. An exciting career ahead - Manus Carey listens to Chinese pianist Wu Qian
Ensemble. Richness and warmth - The Netherlands Bach Society at Florida's Tropical Baroque Festival, reviewed by Lawrence Budmen
CD Spotlight. To be savoured - Aubrey Brain plays Bach, Brahms, Glazunov and Mozart, appreciated by David Thompson. '... music making of the highest calibre ...'
CD Spotlight. Unassuming virtuosity - András Schiff plays Bach's 'Goldberg Variations', enjoyed by Patric Standford. '... impressive and enviable effortlessness ...'
In the presence of greatness - David Thompson is impressed by Angela Hewitt's playing of Bach, Couperin and Ravel at London's South Bank International Piano Series
A passionate campaign - Tamami Honma's Wigmore Hall solo recital début impresses Keith Bramich
Caught unawares - Howard Smith listens to Serbian pianist Sonja Radojkovic in New Zealand
CD Spotlight. Mephistopheles in attendence - The playing of Marina Milic-Apostolovic, enjoyed by Robert Anderson
Record box. Wild folk - Gilles Apap's new Bach and Mozart CD, reviewed by Keith Bramich
Ensemble. ... and a dash of chutzpah - Rex Harley listens to the Welsh Baroque Orchestra's 'Concerto Mania'
Record box. Energy and power - The Bach Collegium Japan performance of the St John Passion, experienced by Keith Bramich
CD Spotlight. A delight - Linden and Egarr play Bach Gamba sonatas, and Ron Bierman is impressed. '... a wonderful original instruments recording ...'
CD Spotlight. Ideas in abundance - Johann Ludwig Krebs on Priory, appreciated by Robert Anderson. '... a performance at once robust and sensitive.'
Reality or invention? - Peter Dale reads from a Liverpool University symposium on the musical work
CD Spotlight. Absolute clarity - Sony's Glenn Gould Anniversary Edition, appreciated by Rex Harley. '... though he takes liberties with tempi, there is always a keen logic behind the act.'
Editorial musings with Basil Ramsey - Once in a while
Editorial musings with Basil Ramsey - An eager response. Some editorial thoughts requiring readers' follow-ups
CD Spotlight. Eclectic collection - Awadagin Pratt and the St Lawrence String Quartet play Bach, reviewed by John Bell Young. 'Mr Pratt should really take some time off to study ...'
Editorial musings with Basil Ramsey - Walking wounded
Editorial musings with Basil Ramsey. The right notes - Recalling the rigours of musical accuracy
Editorial musings with Basil Ramsey. From Wagner to Bach - A long journey in performance practice
CD Spotlight. An aviator of the piano - A unique recording of Russian pianist Samuel Feinberg, reviewed by John Bell Young
Provocative thoughts, from Patric Standford - neglected genius
Editorial musings with Basil Ramsey. Tender Bach - The fascination of the rarest jewels.
Reminiscent retrospectives - Meteorological obligati, with Jennifer Paull
Reminiscent retrospectives - In a new series, international musician and writer Jennifer Paull shares some of her musical memories. September 11th 2001
Ensemble - Jauchzet, frohlocket! Malcolm Miller at Cholmeley Choral Society's Christmas Oratorio in London
Record box - Flighty music. Unusual repertory with two flutes, as heard by Basil Ramsey
CD Spotlight - Issued afresh. '... sheer variety of registration colours ...' Igor Kipnis plays Bach's Partitas reviewed by David Ponsford
Second Sight - Music with Wilfrid Mellers - Touching Touch-pieces. Bach's Seven Toccatas for Harpsichord (continued from yesterday)
Second Sight - Music with Wilfrid Mellers - Touching Touch-pieces. 'We are grateful to the player for her skill and sensitivity ...' Bach's Seven Toccatas for Harpsichord
CD Spotlight - Perfect legato. '... as honest and durable a tribute to the unending delights of Bach's mastery as one could wish for.' Angela Hewitt plays Bach, with David Wilkins
New twists - Malcolm Miller listens to American pianist John Robilette
Record box - Give and Take. Basil Ramsey enjoys companion organ CDs
Record box - Flattery. Doubtful Bach well dressed, with Basil Ramsey
CD Spotlight - Bach passion. '... JSB himself would be bewitched and bewildered by what has emerged, even after being introduced to the wonders of electricity.' A bizarre pilgrimage with Basil Ramsey
Planning your collection - William Primrose -
Record box - Musical heaven. Bach up aloft, with Basil Ramsey
CD Spotlight - Rarity in performance. '... the playing is lively and full of spirit, and this disc is to be recommended.' Works for 2 harpsichords with David Ponsford
Bach in Manhattan - a memorable concert
The lost chord - Newly furbished as a recital instrument, London's Royal Festival Hall organ was re-launched on 19 October. Shirley Ratcliffe was there and was in for a surprise.
Planning your collection - Lukas Vondracek -
Driving force - Visits to Cambridge, with Basil Ramsey
CD Spotlight - Inventiveness. '...a resourceful CD to extend our knowledge of Bach's seemingly infinite ideas with chorale-based music.' Bach's captivating qualities, with Basil Ramsey