RECENT: Defining Our Field - what is 'classical music' to us, why are we involved and what can we learn from our differences? Read John Dante Prevedini's essay, watch the panel discussion and make your own comments.
Ensemble. Elegance and Drama - Giuseppe Pennisi is impressed by Roland Petit's two act ballet 'Notre Dame de Paris'
Classical music news. John Poole - A memorial concert for British conductor John Poole was live-streamed from London
CD Spotlight. Teenage Years - Mendelssohn's String Symphonies, recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Performances are energetic and inspiring throughout, with a touch of crispness consistently at the centre of things.'
Classical music news. Obituary - Mikis Theodorakis (1925-2021)
Ensemble. Camping it Up? - Mike Wheeler has some doubts about the Buxton Festival production of Pauline Viardot's opera 'Cendrillon'
Ensemble. The Orchestra is the Winner - Giuseppe Pennisi reviews 'La bohème' in Rome
CD Spotlight. The Roaring Twenties - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to the first complete recording of Reynaldo Hahn's 'Ô mon bel inconnu'. '... a period-piece that, musically, can be very much enjoyed today ...'
CD Spotlight. Saying Goodbye - Music in response to Debussy's early death, reviewed by Geoff Pearce. 'The performances are great all round, and this is a useful addition to anyone's collection.'
Ensemble. Mixed Feelings - Giuseppe Pennisi reviews the new Opéra de Paris production of 'Aida'
Classical music news. Ching-Lien Wu - The Chorus Master of Dutch National Opera has been appointed Chef des choeurs at Opéra National de Paris
Classical music news - January 2021 Obituaries - Our summary of those the classical music world has lost this month
Classical music news. Obituary - Ivry Gitlis (1922-2020)
A Tale of Two Centuries - Jenna Orkin reads Emile Naoumoff's 'Chronicles With Nadia Boulanger'
CD Spotlight. Angels in Paris - Two sets of solo flute music by Charles Koechlin, recommended by Geoff Pearce. '... Nicola Woodward's flute playing in the two sets that I have heard is sumptuous and varied, and one could not wish for a finer performance.'
CD Spotlight. Stylistically Varied - Geoff Pearce recommends music by Mikis Theodorakis and Jani Christou. '... the varied moods, colours and textures are brought vividly to life.'
Ensemble. Horns and Headlights? - Ron Bierman reports on San Diego Opera's 'La bohème' from a parking lot in San Diego
CD Spotlight. Immense Joy - Gerald Fenech listens to Beethoven and Gossec symphonies. 'A first-rate project deserving of the most serious of investigations.'
Ensemble. A Nuanced, Idiomatic Portrayal - San Diego Opera's first drive-in opera - 'La bohème', appreciated by Maria Nockin
CD Spotlight. A Polynesian Idyll - The first recording of Reynaldo Hahn's opera 'L'île du rêve', heard by Giuseppe Pennisi. '... singers, orchestra and chorus are top notch.'
CD Spotlight. The Sweetness of Life - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to harpsichord music by François Couperin. '... the key note is B flat major which at the time was an experimental, almost avant-garde tonality. Jory Vinikour shows it very well and demonstrates how Couperin was ahead of many other harpsichordists.'
CD Spotlight. A Multifaceted Intellectual - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Saint-Saëns' opéra fantastique 'Le timbre d'argent'. 'From the very start of the overture, the listener feels that this is a brisk and expert ensemble.'
CD Spotlight. Incandescent - Gerald Fenech listens to the second Naxos disc of Charles-Marie Widor's organ symphonies. 'Wolfgang Rübsam provides irrepressible playing in these two early but much enterprising works.'
Classical music news. Obituary - Mady Mesplé (1931-2020)
CD Spotlight. Supremely Pianistic - Gerald Fenech finds pure joy in Etsuko Hirose's recent Moszkowski piano works disc. 'Truly hair-raising stuff, wonderfully annotated and recorded.'
CD Spotlight. Special in Many Ways - Gerald Fenech listens to Musorgsky and Ravel, conducted by François-Xavier Roth. 'Truly hair-raising stuff, wonderfully annotated and recorded.'
CD Spotlight. Undoubted Historical Importance - Paul Sarcich listens to music by Nikos Skalkottas. '... Skalkottas is no slave of Schoenberg - he has his own take on Schoenberg's methods and one could not confuse the two.'
CD Spotlight. Psychological Acuity - Music for harp by Boris Tishchenko impresses Gerald Fenech. '... challenging but highly rewarding music, passionately performed and sumptuously recorded.'
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. Bold and Engrossing - Giuseppe Pennisi reviews Verdi's 'Les Vêpres Siciliennes' at Teatro dell'Opera di Roma
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.'
The Ballets Russes - George Colerick tells the story of the early twentieth century ballet company
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
Profile. A Controversial Figure? - George Colerick investigates the younger Franz Liszt
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. Obituary - Jacques Loussier (1934-2019)
Profile. Genuine Artistic Perspectives - George Colerick discusses the music of Sergei Prokofiev with reference to the Soviet authorities
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.'
Insane Buffoonery - George Colerick investigates the musicals of Florimond Hervé, a man of many parts
Ensemble. An Enthralling Production - György Kurtág's 'Fin de Partie' impresses Giuseppe Pennisi
CD Spotlight. Not an Obvious Connection - Debussy and Jazz, heard by Paul Sarcich. 'For those with wide enough ears it will be an attractive and thought-provoking listen.'
CD Spotlight. Profound Originality - Harpsichord music by Louis Couperin, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Christophe Rousset ... gives radiant performances full of charm and grace ...'
Ensemble. War and Peace - Giuseppe Pennisi reports from the Sagra Musicale Umbra Festival
Ensemble. An Impervious Affair - 'Il Trittico' at the Puccini Festival, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. References to Fellini - 'La Traviata' in 'La Dolce Vita', by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. A Whirlwind of Slapstick - French Carnival Operettas in Venice, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Romanticism and Rock - Lalo and Pink Floyd ballets in Rome, experienced by Giuseppe Pennisi
CD Spotlight. Unerring Beauty - Praga Digitals' tribute to Victoria de los Ángeles, heard by Roderic Dunnett. 'De los Ángeles herself is, needless to say, enchanting. The purity, the innocence of the voice, as one can hear here, is simply unique to her.'
Ensemble. Sophisticated Elegance - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to music by Giacinto Scelsi
Ensemble. A New Don Quixote - Giuseppe Pennisi describes the opening of Teatro dell'Opera di Roma's new ballet season, with a new version of Ludwig Minkus' work, creating a stylised and colorful fairytale world
Ensemble. Invincible Physical Barriers - Willy Decker's production of Giuseppe Verdi's 'La traviata' in HD from New York Metropolitan Opera, reviewed by Maria Nockin
CD Spotlight. Public Taste - Madrigals from Monteverdi's Venice period, highly recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Paul Agnew and his famous choristers give highly exciting performances, with every poetic nuance exploited to maximum musical effect.'
CD Spotlight. Great Sensuality - Caroline Howald's Ensemble Isabella d'Este impresses Gerald Fenech. 'Performances are overflowing with impassioned commitment ...'
CD Spotlight. Consummate Skill - William Christie's Les Arts Florissants, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... each piece comes to life with inimitable charm and grace.'
Ensemble. Transcendental Dawn - Handel's 'Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno' impresses Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Frustratingly Patchy - Charpentier's 'Louise', reviewed by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Musical Gallimaufry - Ivan Ilic plays Scriabin and American music, heard by Howard Smith. '... eight tracks of acceptable Scriabin ...'
Ensemble. A Real Joy - 'Le Ventre de Paris', praised by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. An Unusual Reading - Giuseppe Pennisi experiences an icy Paris/Milan production of Monteverdi's 'L'incoronazione di Poppea'
Bold Eccentricities - Meyerbeer and the Development of Parisian Grand Opera, by George Colerick
Ensemble. Passionate Tones - La bohème in HD from The Met, appreciated by Maria Nockin
Ensemble. An Interesting Idea - Opera North's 'From Paris with Love', reviewed by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Jupiter's Thunderbolt - Lully's Phaéton, enjoyed by Robert Anderson. '... brimful of the most varied enchantments.'
Ensemble. Philologically Correct - A sexless 'Traviata' opens San Carlo's new season in Naples, experienced by Giuseppe Pennisi
DVD Spotlight. Gallic to Teutonic - Opera Australia's 'La bohème', reviewed by Howard Smith. '... Park is suitably distraught ...'
Ensemble. First Class - San Francisco Opera's film of Puccini's 'La bohème', seen by Maria Nockin
Ensemble. Blended Voices - La bohème at Los Angeles Opera, reviewed by Maria Nockin
CD Spotlight. Innumerable Delights - Rubinstein plays Chopin, heard by Robert Anderson. '... recordings of remarkable consistency ...'
Ensemble. Time is a Strange Thing - Teatro Real, Paris Opéra and La Scala join forces for the centenary of 'Der Rosenkavalier', reported by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. A Real Triumph - The 2011 Sferisterio Festival, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
DVD Spotlight. Refined Qualities - Minkus' 'Don Quijote' from the Ballet Nacional de Cuba impresses Gerald Fenech. '... gorgeous sound and visuals.'
Ensemble. Sheer Brilliance - Rossini's 'William Tell', reviewed by Robert Hugill
Ensemble. Emotional Awakening - More from the Buxton Festival, with Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. The Quality of Mercy - Giuseppe Pennisi visits the 2011 Aix-en-Provence Festival and reports on four of the six operas
CD Spotlight. Compelling and Pleasurable - Arthur Friedheim plays Liszt, Chopin, Gottschalk and Henselt, heard by Patric Standford. '... a slightly improvisatory interpretation ...'
Ensemble. Exotic Soundscapes - Two London concerts featuring music from the opera to the orient, attended by Malcolm Miller
Ensemble. Original but Controversial - 'Sicilian Vespers' as conceived by Verdi, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Highly Atmospheric - Massenet's 'Werther', reviewed by Robert Hugill
Ensemble. Truly Beautiful - Gounod's 'Faust' at San Diego Opera delights Maria Nockin
Ensemble. Too Clever by Half - A very British version of Mozart's 'Die Entführung aus dem Serail' returns to Rome, experienced by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. A Wonderful Rendition - Donizetti's 'Lucia di Lammermoor', enjoyed by Maria Nockin
Ensemble. Riveting Characterization - Verdi's 'Otello' at Arizona Opera impresses Maria Nockin
CD Spotlight. A Magnificent Celebration - Three Rodrigo guitar concertos, enjoyed by Robert Anderson. 'Alfonso Moreno is a superb protagonist, technically impeccable ...'
Ensemble. The Quality of Mercy - Verdi's 'La Forza del Destino', heard by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Unmistakably French - 'Les Nuits d'Eté', heard by Giuseppe Pennisi from Rome's Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
Ensemble. Eros versus Thanatos - 'Ariadne auf Naxos' in Paris, experienced by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Mediterranean Splendour - Dancing to Bizet's 'L'Arlésienne' and 'Carmen', by Giuseppe Pennisi
CD Spotlight. A Compelling Magnetism - Elena Kuschnerova plays Musorgsky, heard by Howard Smith. '... superbly evocative ...'
Ensemble. Stunning Artistry - New York Metropolitan Opera's Verdi's 'Don Carlo' transmission, seen and heard by Maria Nockin
DVD Spotlight. Ho hum! - Vidor Nagy plays Bach and Paganini, reviewed by Howard Smith. '... moments of splendour.'
Ensemble. Beautifully Wrought - Wagner's 'Tannhäuser' at Covent Garden, by Robert Hugill
CD Spotlight. A Noteworthy Introduction - Music by Stravinsky for violin and piano, heard by Howard Smith. '... refreshing naturalness ...'
Ensemble. A Difficult Cocktail - Rossini's 'Moïse et Pharaon', assessed by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Lively and Fluent - 'Orpheus in the Underworld' at London's Royal College of Music, reviewed by Robert Hugill
Confidently Entertaining - A recital by John Paul Ekins delights Bill Newman
Ensemble. Great Vitality - Verdi's 'Don Carlo', heard by Robert Hugill
Utterly Compelling - Jon Gillock's 'Performing Messiaen's Organ Music: 66 Masterclasses', read by Tom Corfield
Ensemble. A Memorable Night - The Israel Camerata Orchestra Jerusalem, heard by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. An Icy Reception - Giuseppe Pennisi describes the 2010 Parma Verdi Festival's stormy beginning
Profile. Two Americans in Paris - Maria Nockin talks to Vivica Genaux and Lawrence Brownlee
DVD Spotlight. A Fascinating Hotchpotch - The story of 'La Traviata', reviewed by Robert Anderson. '... fun for the experienced observer ...'
DVD Spotlight. Forthright Tempos - The Wihan Quartet plays Beethoven, heard by Howard Smith. '... little to truly set their work apart ...'
CD Spotlight. Ready to Oblige - Music by Beethoven?, reviewed favourably by Robert Anderson. '... the pleasure of unfamiliar music and fine performances.'
CD Spotlight. A Worthy Introduction - Song cycles and chamber music by Gareth Walters, heard by Patric Standford. '... deserves a firm place in the CD library.'
Ensemble. Dramatic Strength - The 'Glory of God' through three Verdi operas at the Sferisterio Festival 2010, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
CD Spotlight. Enviable Ease - Irena Portenko plays Chopin, recommended by Robert Anderson. '... easy fluidity of touch and tone ...'
Profile. Finding the Right Voice - Maria Nockin talks to American composer Daniel Catán
Ensemble. Rather Quirky - Massenet's 'Manon' at Covent Garden, reviewed by Robert Hugill
CD Spotlight. Playing Rameau - Interpretations by Stephen Gutman, recommended by George Balcombe. '... not a million miles away from jazz.'
Ensemble. Special Praise - Bizet's 'Carmen' at Kentish Opera, enjoyed by Pippa Hare
Ensemble. An Excellent Staging - 'Madama Butterfly' at Rome's Teatro dell'Opera, appreciated by Giuseppe Pennisi
DVD Spotlight. A Little Wizardry - Purcell's 'Dido and Aeneas', recommended by Robert Anderson. '... the playing is stylish and alert throughout.'
Ensemble. Hilariously Funny - Arizona Opera's 'The Barber of Seville', appreciated by Maria Nockin
Ensemble. Major Delights - 'La traviata' from San Diego Opera, reviewed by Maria Nockin
Ensemble. A Sensitive Account - Choral music by Rossini, Elgar and Handel, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Seldom Performed - 'Lulu' lands at La Scala, by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Consummate Skill - 'Hamlet' by Ambroise Thomas, heard by Maria Nockin
CD Spotlight. Powerful Beauty - Works by Fauré for Cello and Piano, recommended by George Balcombe. '... a profoundly moving sound ...'
Ensemble. An Excellent Performance - Gounod's 'Romeo and Juliet' at San Diego Opera, enjoyed by Maria Nockin
Ensemble. Close to Perfection - Verdi's 'Simon Boccanegra' broadcast from New York Metropolitan Opera, by Maria Nockin
Ensemble. A True Dynamo - Lawrence Budmen listens to French conductor Ludovic Morlot, in concert with Jennifer Koh and the New World Symphony
Ensemble. A Bouquet of Bohèmes - Maria Nockin reviews one opera at two different venues
Ensemble. A Bombshell - Carmen at the movies, by Maria Nockin
CD Spotlight. Sterling Playing - Wendy Warner's interpretations of Popper and Piatigorsky, heard by Howard Smith. '... sovereign music-making deserving of the highest accolades.'
CD Spotlight. Invigoratingly Natural - Van Beinum conducts Mahler, recommended by Howard Smith. '... a tad less frenetic ...'
Ensemble. Compelling Vocal Drama - Lawrence Budmen listens to Measha Brueggergosman and the New World Symphony
Ensemble. Style and Drama - Gluck's 'Alceste', heard by Robert Hugill
CD Spotlight. Mice in the Manger - A selection of Christmas music, enjoyed by George Balcombe. '... an amazing collection.'
Ensemble. Much Praise - 'Orpheus in the Underworld' from Kentish Opera, reviewed by Pippa Hare
Ensemble. A Sizzling Rendition - 'Carmen' from Phoenix Opera impresses Maria Nockin
Ensemble. Vivid and Enlivening - Donizetti's 'Maria di Rohan', reviewed by Robert Hugill
CD Spotlight. Splendidly Performed - Baroque music for cello, recommended by Howard Smith. 'An exemplary CD ...'
Ensemble. A Gala Atmosphere - Maria Nockin reports from Los Angeles Opera's opening night 'L'Elisir d'amore'
Ensemble. Sterling Performances - Donizetti's 'Linda di Chamounix', heard by Robert Hugill
Highly Articulate - American dramatic soprano Christine Brewer talks to Robert Hugill
CD Spotlight. A Purposeful Vigour - Symphonies by Albéric Magnard impress Patric Standford. '... a notable symphonic architect.'
Ensemble. An Immensely Successful Event - Thomas Bielinski reports from the West Cork Chamber Music Festival 2009
Ensemble. Dramatic Essentials - 'Carmen' from Paris, enjoyed by Robert Hugill
Ensemble. Another Treat - Martinu's 'Mirandolina' at Garsington Opera, by Roderic Dunnett
Ensemble. Truly Enjoyable - Maria Nockin was at Los Angeles Opera's 'La Traviata'
Ensemble. Student Life and Love - Puccini's 'La bohème' from Kentish Opera, enjoyed by Pippa Hare
CD Spotlight. Expressive Beauty - Chamber music by Marjan Mozetich, enjoyed by Howard Smith. '... "Hymn of Ascension" stood out for its power and cogency.'
Ensemble. Ringing Intensity - 'Madama Butterfly' from San Diego Opera, reviewed by Maria Nockin
Ensemble. Sometimes Impressive - Bellini's 'Norma' from English Touring Opera, heard by Robert Hugill
CD Spotlight. Consistently Refined - Debussy transcriptions, reviewed by Howard Smith. '... these alternatives are never less than striking ...'
Ensemble. Thoroughly Enjoyable - An Arizona winter treat of Verdi's 'Aida', enjoyed by Maria Nockin
A Stressful Collaboration - Gerard Schurmann describes his involvement with the music score for 'Lawrence of Arabia'
Pure Fashion? - Several Composers in Search of an Identity, by Béla Hartmann
CD Spotlight. Engagingly Heartening - Choral and orchestral music by Arthur Honegger, enjoyed by Howard Smith. '... strikingly performed by Welsh forces ...'
CD Spotlight. Dancing Goblins - Music by Bazzini, heard by Howard Smith. '... Hanslip brings it off with suitable aplomb.'
Ensemble. Very Convincing - Handel's 'Partenope', enjoyed by Robert Hugill
CD Spotlight. Consummate Mastery - Zeynep Ucbasaran plays Mozart, reviewed by Robert Anderson. '... an art of crystalline clarity.'
CD Spotlight. Lovingly Accomplished - Forgotten music by Saint-Saëns, enjoyed by Howard Smith. '... a performance of avowed committment.'
Artful Phrasing - 'La bohème' at Los Angeles Opera, reviewed by Maria Nockin
CD Spotlight. Richly Creative - Orchestral music by Bechara El-Khoury, reviewed by Howard Smith. '... a valuable addition ...'
DVD Spotlight. Major Delights - Rossini's 'Il Viaggio a Reims' entertains Robert Anderson. '... an evening of pure champagne.'
The Wandering Traveller - Kelly Ferjutz delves further into Richard Wagner and the forthcoming symposium in Ohio
Ensemble. Robust and Vigorous - Saint-Saëns' 'Samson and Delilah', reviewed by Maria Nockin
DVD Spotlight. A Memorable Experience - 'Fedora', reviewed by Robert Anderson. 'Giordano's wishes were admirably followed ...'
Ensemble. Clarity and Honesty - Malcolm Troup's recital at St Martin-in-the-Fields, reviewed by Julian Jacobson
Record Box. Vibrant Presentation - A worthy memorial to William Ferris, reviewed by Patric Standford
Ensemble. Strong and Appealing - Poulenc's 'La voix humaine' at Opera North, reviewed by Patric Standford
Ensemble. Lively Pacing - Verdi's 'Macbeth' in Arizona, reviewed by Maria Nockin
Ensemble. A Sumptuous Display - Verdi's 'Don Carlo' at LA Opera, appreciated by Maria Nockin
CD Spotlight. Superbly Measured - Music by Haskell Small and Mussorgsky, reviewed by Howard Smith. '... indisputably fine pianism ...'
Ensemble. Shimmering Harmonies - San Diego Opera's 'Carmen' delighted Maria Nockin
Ensemble. Expansively Romantic - Teatro Lirico d'Europa's 'La Traviata', reviewed by Maria Nockin
DVD Spotlight. Chill lyricism - Prokofiev's 'Ivan the Terrible', reviewed by Robert Anderson. 'Vello Pähn and the orchestra make a marvellous thing of Prokofiev's score ...'
DVD Spotlight. Radiant and subtle - Strauss's 'Capriccio', reviewed by Robert Anderson. '... Renée Fleming ... (sang) like an angel throughout ...'
Cathy Berberian - Never knowingly misunderstood - Jennifer Paull questions the focus of the lens of musical history
DVD Spotlight. A Parisian disco? - Rameau's 'Les Indes galantes', reviewed by Robert Anderson. '... Les Arts Florissants would triumph in any location.'
CD Spotlight. Great sensitivity - Music for wind instruments by Karel Husa, recommended by Patric Standford. '... delightful discoveries, highly recommended.'
Ensemble. Winds of change - Malcolm Miller applauds a new work by Richard Dubugnon premièred by the Haffner Wind Ensemble and Min-Jung Kym
Ensemble. Wonderfully stylish - Offenbach in Paris, appreciated by Robert Hugill
DVD Spotlight. Prophetic merit - Thomas Hampson sings Mahler's 'Des Knaben Wunderhorn', appreciated by Tess Crebbin. '... a stunning visual and auditory experience.'
CD Spotlight. Adventurer and virtuoso - Rosemary Tuck plays the Celtic Fantasies of Vincent Wallace, reviewed by Patric Standford. '... splendid performance ...'
CD Spotlight. Thrilling virtuosity - Organ music by Vierne and Alain, reviewed by Robert Anderson. '... James Lancelot shows throughout how effectively he can command the grand Romantic gesture.'
Reminiscent retrospectives - Musical language, with Jennifer Paull
Record Box - Naked Power - the organ roars, with Basil Ramsey