VIDEO PODCAST: John Dante Prevedini leads a discussion about Youth Involvement in Classical Music - this specially extended illustrated feature includes contributions from Christopher Morley, Gerald Fenech, Halida Dinova, Patricia Spencer and Roderic Dunnett.
CD Spotlight. Beautiful and Well-crafted - Gerald Fenech listens to Johann Simon Mayr's opera 'Alfredo il Grande'. 'This is a gem of a premiere recording that should enhance Mayr's reputation as a truly fine opera composer which he richly deserves.'
CD Spotlight. Absolutely Compelling - Cherubini, Méhul and Beethoven, recommended wholeheartedly by Gerald Fenech. 'Bernhard Forck leads with engrossing enthusiasm, and his Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin responds with some truly exhilarating performances that sweep you off your feet.'
Classical music news. Gothic Opera - This Halloween in London UK, Gothic Opera presents a double bill of unknown supernatural operas by female composers Louise Bertin and Pauline Viardot
CD Spotlight. A Delectable Programme - Piano concertos by Johann Wilhelm Wilms, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Brautigam's advocacy for these works borders on the obsessive, and his playing is not only full-blooded but captures the spirit of the age with immense fidelity.'
CD Spotlight. A Change of Direction - French music by Debussy, Dukas and Roussel, played by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Domingo Hindoyan, enjoyed by Geoff Pearce. '... stellar performances ...'
CD Spotlight. Exhilarating Performances - Orchestral music by Ludvig Norman, recommended with conviction by Gerald Fenech. '... rich in melody, colour and wide-ranging harmonies.'
CD Spotlight. A Magnificent and Powerful Recording - Geoff Pearce listens to Augustin Hadelich. '... an impressive technique and tone ...'
CD Spotlight. Moving the World - Gerald Fenech listens to Dvořák's last three symphonies. '... Dudamel amplifies the turbulent emotions of each work with a power and intensity that you do not hear every day.'
CD Spotlight. A Commanding Technique - Gerald Fenech listens to Patrick Dheur playing piano music by César Franck. 'A fine and fitting tribute to one of the most original composers ever to come out of Belgium ...'
Ensemble. Shaped with Care - Mike Wheeler listens to Sibelius, Grieg and Dvořák from Derby Concert Orchestra and guest conductor Bob Chasey
CD Spotlight. Spirit of a Nation - Gerald Fenech is impressed by music of nineteenth century Polish composers Henryk Wieniawski, Ignacy Feliks Dobrzyński and Karol Kurpiński. '... both players and soloists surpass themselves with passionate renditions ...'
CD Spotlight. An Additional Significance and Poignancy - Gerald Fenech listens to César Franck orchestral music, recorded in Ukraine. 'Francisco Varela draws the very best from the Lviv National Philharmonic Orchestra of Ukraine, and performances are consistently fresh, alive and often compelling.'
Ensemble. Taut and Focused - Mike Wheeler reports from the Buxton Festival on Rossini's 'La Donna del Lago'
Ensemble. A Triumph - Roderic Dunnett listens to two one-act operas
Ensemble. A Rare and Novel Experience - Opera Warwick's production of Weber's 'The Marksman', heard by Roderic Dunnett
Ensemble. Commemorating Malcolm Goldring - The Sitwell Singers pay tribute to their former conductor, with help from various friends and colleagues, including a new work written for the occasion by Bob Chilcott, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Delicately Sensitive Performances - Operatic fantasies by Sigismond Thalberg, strongly recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... characteristically intense and warm ...'
CD Spotlight. Treasureable Qualities - Gerald Fenech listens to Andris Nelsons conducting two orchestras in music by Richard Strauss. '... superlative performances from both orchestras, who are on top form throughout.'
CD Spotlight. Subtle Differences - Ravel on period instruments, heartily recommended by Geoff Pearce. '... there are some truly lovely moments ...'
Ensemble. Effectively Realised - Mike Wheeler listens to Brahms' Requiem
CD Spotlight. Star of the North - Gerald Fenech strongly recommends Meyerbeer's 'L'Étoile du Nord' on Naxos. 'Vladimir Jurowski conducts the piece with natural gusto and sparkling flair ...'
Ensemble. A Crash Between Worlds - Adam J Sacks describes something entirely new, combining Brahms and Radiohead
CD Spotlight. A Scintillating Operatic Rarity - Gerald Fenech's discovery of the year is possibly Danish composer Horneman's opera 'Aladdin'. 'Another stylish re-issue in a series that is experiencing a highly deserved renaissance.'
CD Spotlight. Solace to Listeners - Patrick Maxwell listens to a box set of John Barbirolli's Elgar recordings for Warner Classics. '... a musical artefact which still tells us how Britain's most famous composer really can sound like ...'
CD Spotlight. Very Infectious - Gerald Fenech listens to several recent recordings of British music. 'Another stylish re-issue in a series that is experiencing a highly deserved renaissance.'
Ensemble. Merging Scores with Care - Giuseppe Pennisi enjoys the ballet 'Il Corsaro'
Profile. A Dramatic Entrance - Matt Spangler and Lucy Mauro shine a light on an American classical pioneer
Ensemble. Absolute Ravel - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to music by Maurice Ravel played by Neapolitan pianist Roberto Cominati
Ensemble. Stewards of Creation - Haydn's 'The Creation' marks Harry Christophers' final concert with Boston's Handel and Haydn Society, heard by John Dante Prevedini
CD Spotlight. Dance or Die - Gerald Fenech enjoys a disc exploring the influence of Italy on Austrian and German composers. '... performances full of rhythmic energy, explosive colours and, above all, harmonic ingenuity.'
Ensemble. Winter and Spring - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to orchestral music in Rome
CD Spotlight. Passion, Intensity and Verve - Gerald Fenech listens to Giordano's 'Siberia'. '... full of emotional warmth and heartfelt fidelity.'
CD Spotlight. Positive Dramatic Strength - Gerald Fenech listens to Schubert overtures. 'Performances are wonderfully alive in Schellenberger's hands, and the gloriously melodic music truly sparkles with a youthful exuberance that makes your spirit soar.'
Ensemble. Welcome Back, Puritani - Giuseppe Pennisi was in the audience, in Rome, for Bellini's last great masterpiece
Ensemble. Conceived for TV - Giuseppe Pennisi experiences Teatro dell'Opera di Roma's 'La bohème'
CD Spotlight. Incomparable Musical Beauty - Gerald Fenech listens to Elgar's 'The Dream of Gerontius' from Carnegie Hall. '... a precious addition to this acclaimed treasure trove of historic recordings ...'
CD Spotlight. A Verdi Avenue - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Francesco Meli. '... a demonstration of Meli's ability but also of his genuine love for Verdi ...'
CD Spotlight. Bruckner the Trumpet - Gerald Fenech listens to Bruckner's Symphony No 3, transposed for organ. '... Hansjörg Albrecht's renditions of these spectacular transcriptions by Erwin Horn are absolutely flawless.'
CD Spotlight. Captivatingly Melodic - Gerald Fenech admires Tatjana Ruhland's playing of August Eberhard Müller flute concertos. 'Tatjana Ruhland ... is, in every sense of the word, a 'sorceress' of the instrument ...'
CD Spotlight. A Spirit of Newfound Confidence - Gerald Fenech listens to the last instalment of Andris Nelsons' Bruckner cycle for Deutsche Gramophon. 'Nelsons goes straight to the heart of this quite divinely inspired music with confidence and conviction ...'
Ensemble. Simply Outstanding - Mike Wheeler is impressed by performances of Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky and Myroslav Skoryk from Patricia Kopatchinskaya, Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Ensemble. Eloquently Projected - Mike Wheeler is impressed by the Fitzroy Quartet's performance of music by Haydn, Mozart, James MacMillan, Arvo Pärt and Beethoven
CD Spotlight. A Marvellous Set - Geoff Pearce listens to the Sibelius symphonies, played by the Oslo Philharmonic and Klaus Mäkelä. 'The Oslo Philharmonic responds magnificently to the direction and vision of Klaus Mäkelä.'
CD Spotlight. Exhilarating from Start to Finish - Gerald Fenech listens to suites of incidental music by Arthur Sullivan. 'Andrew Penny is an enthusiastic advocate of this composer, and his lively and beautifully shaped interpretations are a treat to the ear.'
Ensemble. Changing Moods - Mike Wheeler listens to a talk about, then a performance of, Elgar's Symphony No 1
Ensemble. Complete Assurance - Mike Wheeler listens to Mozart, Debussy and Prokofiev, played by Ke Ma
CD Spotlight. Many Fine Moments - Geoff Pearce listens to Richard Strauss played by the Carnegie Mellon Wind Ensemble. '... a fine disc of works which are not recorded so often ...'
Ensemble. A Compelling Intimacy - Mike Wheeler listens to Beethoven and Berlioz from Stephen Waarts, the Hallé Orchestra and Maxime Pascal
CD Spotlight. Noble Grief - Music from Leonard Slatkin and his family, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... legendary renditions full of mesmerizing violin playing ...'
CD Spotlight. Beauty and Emotional Depth - Geoff Pearce recommends Schubert's 'Winterreise', performed by Mark Padmore and Paul Lewis. '... everything that I could wish for ...'
Ensemble. A Rare Bird - Verdi's 'Luisa Miller', heard by Giuseppe Pennisi
CD Spotlight. A Magical Touch with Orchestral Colours - Music by Ravel, heard by Natalie Artemas-Polak. 'John Wilson and the Sinfonia of London's superb disc is a joy to listen to, and the sound quality is crisp and clear.'
CD Spotlight. Vivacious Performances - Music from Scotland, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... a spectacular album full of inspirational melodies that go straight to the heart.'
Ensemble. An Italian Creation - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Giuseppe Carpani's Italian language version of Haydn's oratorio
CD Spotlight. Highly Imaginative - Fantasies by Sousa, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... the music is as exciting and entertaining as one would wish for.'
CD Spotlight. True to the Composer's Original Intentions - Schubert's Octet, heard by Geoff Pearce. '... the sound is detailed and crisp, and the balance is good.'
CD Spotlight. Uniquely Gifted - Schubert's symphonies, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'A deluge of unending beauty that goes straight to the heart, gloriously performed and recorded.'
CD Spotlight. Dash and Swagger - Gerald Fenech listens to Arthur Sullivan's 'Victoria and Merrie England'. '... playing of the highest order ...'
CD Spotlight. Very Rare Stage Works - Gerald Fenech listens to music by Auber. '... committed vigour and passionate warmth.'
CD Spotlight. Well-crafted - Music by Alexander Goedicke for violin and piano, recommended by Geoff Pearce. '... a great disc of a sadly mostly overlooked fine composer.'
CD Spotlight. After the End of the Reign of Terror - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to 'La fille de Madame Angot' by Charles Lecocq. '... not only a musicological revival but also nearly two hours of very enjoyable listening.'
Ensemble. A Masterly Balance - Mike Wheeler listens to J S Bach, Liszt and Schubert from Emmanuel Despax
CD Spotlight. Dreams and Tales - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to piano music by Musorgsky and Scriabin played by Michele Campanella. '... the different touch from previous renderings makes this CD very well worth listening to.'
CD Spotlight. Orientalism in Paris - 'La Princesse Jaune', reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi. '... an excellent vehicle for discovering a little known facet of Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns.'
CD Spotlight. Wonders from Finland - Newly discovered Finnish violin music, recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'An enthralling collection, superbly recorded ...'
CD Spotlight. Fresh Appraisals - Roger Norrington's interpretations of Bruckner symphonies, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Commendable, if somewhat unorthodox.'
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.'
CD Spotlight. Just Irresistible - Orchestral music by Franz Lachner, recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... memorable ... magical ... mesmerizing ...'
CD Spotlight. Overtly sentimental? - Bellini's 'I Puritani', heard by Gerald Fenech. '... the chemistry between conductor and performers cannot be faulted.'
Ensemble. Regietheater at the Rossini Opera Festival - Giuseppe Pennisi discusses recent performances of 'Il Signor Bruschino' and 'Elisabetta, Regina d'Inghilterra'
Ensemble. A Great Rossini Opera Festival Opening - Giuseppe Pennisi reviews 'Moïse et Pharaon'
Ensemble. Particularly Striking - Mike Wheeler listens to the Richard Roddis Singers, performing for the first time in over two years
Ensemble. The Orchestra is the Winner - Giuseppe Pennisi reviews 'La bohème' in Rome
CD Spotlight. Another Path to Modernism - John Dante Prevedini listens to an anthology of Swedish orchestral music. '... a rich expressiveness underneath the veil of subtlety and self-restraint.'
CD Spotlight. A Very Special CD - Band music by John Philip Sousa, recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Sensitive and engrossingly passionate performances ...'
Ensemble. When I'm Sixty-Four - Giuseppe Pennisi visits the Spoleto Festival
CD Spotlight. Flowing Melodies - Romantic music for piano and orchestra by Jerzy Gablenz and Ignacy Jan Paderewski, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... full of bouncy energy, exuberant flair and spectacular pianism ...'
Ensemble. Star Wars - Giuseppe Pennisi recommends listening to but not watching Maggio Musicale Fiorentino's production of Verdi's 'La forza del destino'
CD Spotlight. Heartfelt Pathos - Juan Bautista Cansino's Stabat Mater, strongly recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... serenity and resignation beyond comprehension.'
Ensemble. Black and White - Verdi's 'Il trovatore' from Teatro dell'Opera di Roma, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
CD Spotlight. A Monumental Composition - Bruckner's first symphony transcribed for organ, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... towering performances ...'
Ensemble. Three Days in Ravenna - Giuseppe Pennisi samples Northern Italy's high profile and wide-ranging arts festival
CD Spotlight. Intensely Personal and Complex - Gerald Fenech listens to Mahler's Seventh Symphony on a recording from a brand new label. 'Kirill Petrenko keeps the music flowing with grace and conviction ...'
CD Spotlight. Rachmaninov's 'Choral Symphony' - Stephen Francis Vasta is impressed by Dmitrij Kitajenko's recordings of Rachmaninov and Taneyev. '... a colourful, engaged reading ...'
Ensemble. Chaos Instead of Music? - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Wagner and Shostakovich in a triumphant concert by Alejo Pérez and the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma Orchestra
CD Spotlight. Truly Exciting - Music by Alexander von Zemlinsky and Franz Schreker, recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Petrenko has this music in his blood, and the performances have a sweep and power that keep you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end.'
CD Spotlight. Challenging Music - Erwin Schulhoff's only opera, 'Flammen', reviewed by Gerald Fenech. 'The performance is exhilarating and the recording sumptuous.'
CD Spotlight. A Kiss from the Queen - Johann Strauss II's only opera, 'Ritter Pásmán', heard by Gerald Fenech. '... vibrantly performed by the Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra and finely conducted by Alfred Walter.'
Ensemble. A Ukrainian Star in Rome - Oksana Lyniv makes her Rome debut, experienced by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Three Divas - Maria Nockin reviews a streamed recital from Versailles, given by Ailyn Pérez, Nadine Sierra, Isabel Leonard, Vlad Iftinca and Pablo Sáinz-Villegas
Defining Our Field - John Dante Prevedini asks what is 'classical music' to us, why are we involved and what can we learn from our differences?
Ensemble. Robert, Clara and the Others - Giuseppe Pennisi reports on an Accademia Filarmonica Romana concert in Rome
Ensemble. A Quartet of Jubilation - Vocal music by Wagner and Richard Strauss, streamed from Germany and enjoyed by Maria Nockin
Ensemble. A Conductor's Opera - Giuseppe Pennisi enjoys a streamed/televised production of Verdi's 'Luisa Miller' from Teatro dell'Opera di Roma
Ensemble. Parsifal's Jail - Giuseppe Pennisi reports on Richard Wagner's 'Parsifal', streamed from Vienna State Opera
CD Spotlight. Highly Characterful and Dynamic - Lucas Ball listens to Beethoven from Igor Levit and Xiaohan Wang. '... most of what this CD has to offer is top notch ...'
Ensemble. Teatro dell'Opera di Roma Re-opens - Giuseppe Pennisi was in a box for the opening night
Ensemble. The Right Touch - Gaetano Donizetti's 'The Elixir of Love', reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Rollicking Comedy - Maria Nockin reports from San Diego Opera's drive-in performances of Rossini's 'The Barber of Seville'
CD Spotlight. A Lovely Gesture - Stephen Francis Vasta listens to Latvian conductor Mariss Jansons' last concert. 'The home listener, even without visual evidence, can sense that all was not well.'
CD Spotlight. A Jewel Box of Opera Rarities - Giuseppe Pennisi explores a CD set marking the Orfeo International label's first forty years. '... at least two masterpieces emerge ...'
Ensemble. A Call from On High - Mike Wheeler listens to the Sinfonia Viva Brass Quintet
Ensemble. Enthralling Sound Colours - Malcolm Miller listens to young violinist Michael Foyle's recital of Beethoven, Brahms and Kreisler in London
Ensemble. Cancel Culture and a Cryptic Message - Adam J Sacks listens to the Hong Kong Sinfonietta
CD Spotlight. Most Welcome - Gerald Fenech listens to French piano duets. 'Paul Lewis and Steven Osborne, two of Britain's foremost pianists, give matchless performances, and their virtuosic brilliance and unique sensitivity to the many nuances of these scores are an absolute joy to listen to.'
Ensemble. Colourful and Inventive - A streamed performance of a wind arrangement of 'Pictures From an Exhibition' from Derby's Joseph Wright Gallery, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Mascagni in a New Garb - Gerald Fenech recommends a new recording of Pietro Mascagni's 'Iris'. 'Krieger's exhilarating conducting draws from both his singers and players some truly sublime performances, full of unbridled enthusiasm.'
Ensemble. Half and Half - Giuseppe Pennisi is not entirely convinced by Teatro San Carlo di Napoli's new production of Gioacchino Rossini's 'Il Turco in Italia'
Ensemble. A Higher Synthesis - Adam J Sacks marks the re-convening of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
Classical music news. The Schoenberg Effect - The Berlin-based Notos Quartett's second album, devoted to Brahms, will be released on Sony Classical this month
CD Spotlight. Benjamin Britten and James Joyce - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to two sets of English folk and other songs. '... very good listening ...'
Ensemble. A Revolutionary 'Ernani' in Palermo - Giuseppe Pennisi reports on a production modified for TV and streaming
Ensemble. A Fast Rising Career - Bulgarian soprano Sonya Yoncheva's Met Stars recital with pianist Julien Quentin, experienced by Maria Nockin
Ensemble. Lolita in Jerusalem - Elena Stikhina in Teatro alla Scala's new production of 'Salome' by Richard Strauss impresses Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Mixed Feelings - Giuseppe Pennisi reviews the new Opéra de Paris production of 'Aida'
CD Spotlight. The Para-Liturgical Art of Tchaikovsky - Ona Jarmalavičiūtė listens to the Latvian Radio Choir. '... the score's full range is captured sharply and sensitively, bringing out the true colors as well as the pure and attractive sound of choral liturgical music.'
CD Spotlight. On the March - Saint-Saëns wind music, enjoyed by Gerald Fenech. '... a truly glorious Saint-Saëns anthology wrapped in a different soundscape ...'
Ensemble. A Human Tragedy - HD streaming of the opening night at the new Staatsoper Unter den Linden production in Berlin of Janáček's 'Jenůfa' impresses Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Appreciation of Nature - Maria Nockin reviews a 'Met Stars' online concert from the Spanish Riding School in Vienna, featuring Anna Netrebko, Elena Maximova and Pavel Nebolsin
CD Spotlight. An Unforgettable Recital - Ona Jarmalavičiūtė listens to Evgeny Kissin's Chopin recital from the 1985 December Nights Music Festival. 'From the very beginning of his career at the top of his game, Evgeny Kissin presents a performance that is, simply put, wild.'
Ensemble. An Opera for Voices - Giuseppe Pennisi reviews Vincenzo Bellini's rarely-staged 'Il Pirata'
Ensemble. Fit for Streaming? - Giuseppe Pennisi investigates various current and recent opera productions
CD Spotlight. Beyond Memorable - Hans Rosbaud conducts Gustav Mahler symphonies, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Rosbaud ... lays out the whole range of Mahler's passion with a fiery sense of musicality.'
Ensemble. Bohème dated 1896 - Giuseppe Pennisi reviews Puccini, broadcast from Teatro Regio Torino in Italy
CD Spotlight. Astounding Work - A second volume of orchestral music by Austrian composer Hans Rott, heard by Geoff Pearce. '... performed with passion and understanding, and the quality of the recording matches this. Bravo.'
Ensemble. Twilight of Dreams - Giuseppe Pennisi experiences a pastiche for our times at the opening of Teatro Massimo di Palermo's 2021 season
Ensemble. Arduous and Contrasting Passion - Bellini's 'I Puritani' at Teatro dell'Opera di Roma, recommended by Giuseppe Pennisi
On Fischer-Dieskau's Schubert - Patrick Maxwell investigates the German baritone's legacy
Ensemble. Mariotti and The Ninth - Giuseppe Pennisi reviews Michele Mariotti's January 2021 Beethoven performance in Parma
CD Spotlight. An Individualistic Voice - Music by French composer Florent Schmitt, recommended by Geoff Pearce. 'The orchestra and soloists are very fine, and the atmospheric nature of the music is beautifully captured.'
CD Spotlight. A Double Rescue - Meyerbeer's little-known opera 'Romilda e Costanza', reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi. '... a rescue opera which is worth saving from oblivion.'
CD Spotlight. A Chronological Journey - A box set of Beethoven's keyboard compositions played by Cyprien Katsaris and enjoyed by Gerald Fenech. '... a clear biographical testament to one of the most influential composers of all time.'
Ensemble. Exhilarating Final Moments - Opera North's live streaming of Beethoven's 'Fidelio' impresses Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Enchanting and Powerful - Patrick Maxwell listens to Bruckner motets. '... performed superbly ...'
Ensemble. Zubin's Otello - Giuseppe Pennisi watches a new Florence production of Verdi's 'Otello' on Italian TV
Ensemble. ROF is Back and in Good Spirits - Giuseppe Pennisi reports on 'Il barbiere di Siviglia' and the Rossini Opera Festival's current performances
Ensemble. An Innovative Approach - Giuseppe Pennisi experiences three operas from the 2020 Donizetti Opera Festival
CD Spotlight. Revisiting the Close Bond of Violin and Guitar - Kim Sjøgren and Lars Hannibal play music by Paganini and Sarasate, heard by Ona Jarmalavičiūtė. '... very elegant, vibrant, virtuosic and illustrative.'
CD Spotlight. Beset by Misfortune - Gerald Fenech listens to 'Kullervo' by Jean Sibelius. '... beautifully shaped and vocally refined and the voices come across clear and resonant.'
Ensemble. Great Emphasis on Detail - Giuseppe Pennisi enjoys streamed performances of a Carmen double bill in Rome
CD Spotlight. An Integral Part of Christmas - Carols from the SWR Vokal Ensemble, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... beautifully shaped and vocally refined and the voices come across clear and resonant.'
CD Spotlight. Liszt the Pilgrim - Michele Campanella's recording of Liszt's 'Années de pèlerinage', reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi. '... a virtuoso rendering with a very personal touch.'
CD Spotlight. Quietly Ambiguous - Stephen Francis Vasta feels vaguely let down by Mami Shikimori and the Wihan Quartet's performances of Fauré and Franck. '... wonderfully committed and incisive playing.'
CD Spotlight. Triumphant Optimism - Lucas Ball compares two Beethoven choral works on a new recording from harmonia mundi. 'I love what the chorus does here ...'
CD Spotlight. Excellent Music Overshadowed - Geoff Pearce has a first encounter with the music of Zdeněk Fibich. '... fine performances and warmth of sound ...'
Ensemble. True Balletic Virtuosity - Adam J Sacks reports from the first performance of HK Ballet's new season
Ensemble. Nicely Varied - Peter Siepmann plays Johann Sebastian Bach, Maurice Duruflé and César Franck on the Compton organ at Derby Cathedral, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Enormous Potential - Orchestral music by Hans Rott impresses Geoff Pearce. '... fine performances and warmth of sound ...'
Ensemble. Italy's Last 'Traviata' (For a While) - Giuseppe Pennisi reports on Verdi's opera in Rieti
CD Spotlight. Awakening the Joy for Life - Béla Hartmann is impressed by music for clarinet and piano by Brahms and Widmann played by Jörg Widmann and András Schiff. 'In every respect this is a superb CD, combining playing of the highest craft and musical understanding with great works of the past, as well as new contributions which are likely to become established regulars in the modern piano repertoire.'
CD Spotlight. Beethoven's Favourite Instrument - Peter Hill and Benjamin Frith play piano four hand music by the genius from Bonn, recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... devotedly recorded, impressively executed, rewardingly researched.'
Ensemble. A Survival Strategy - Giuseppe Pennisi writes about the current music scene in Italy, touching on recent notable performances
CD Spotlight. Dash and Verve - Gerald Fenech listens to Piano Concertos 3, 4 and 5 by the enigmatic Camille Saint-Saëns. 'Alexandre Kantorow performs these highly attractive concertos with terrific panache, energy and a forward-thrusting momentum that make the whole project deeply distinctive while respecting throughout the composer's imaginative and innovative bravado.'
Ensemble. A Space to Reflect - Adam J Sacks was at the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra's season opener for music by Copland, Beethoven, Doming Lam and Richard Strauss
CD Spotlight. Changes of Mood - Geoff Pearce is impressed by Carl Nielsen's music for solo violin and for violin and piano. 'The performances are of a high standard, as one would expect, and violinist Hasse Borup and pianist Andrew Staupe play the music with great affection and attention to detail.'
CD Spotlight. Graceful and Charming - Gerald Fenech enjoys orchestral operatic music by Auber, recorded in the Czech Republic. 'An excellent compilation ... of some really bouncy music in good sound and annotations.'
Ensemble. A Touch of Verdi in Rossini's Last Work - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Opera Roma's grand performance of Petite Messe Solennelle in Rome
CD Spotlight. Between Centuries and Cultures - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Johann Simon Mayr's 1814 opera 'Le due duchesse'. 'The richness is clear from the Sinfonia.'
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. Hallmarks of a Troubled Mindset - Patrick Maxwell listens critically to the Fitzwilliam String Quartet's Schubert. 'This CD holds within some extremely heart-rending, joyous and emotionally infused music, played by some wonderful individual players.'
CD Spotlight. Beethoven the Innovator - Cuarteto Casals plays a selection of Beethoven string quartets, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi. 'All of the highest quality.'
Ensemble. Soft Romanticism - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Schubert, Wagner and Mozart from Daniele Gatti and the Mozart Orchestra at the Ravello Festival
CD Spotlight. Quite Original in its Way - Gerald Fenech listens to orchestral music by Brazilian composer Alberto Nepomuceno. 'The programme is delivered with panache and polished maturity ...'
CD Spotlight. An Experimental Shake - Ona Jarmalavičiūtė listens to Shakespeare settings by Brahms, Schumann, Pesetsky and Summer. '... the experiment ... should be praised for its courage and innovation ...'
Ensemble. The Belcanto Concerts - Giuseppe Pennisi sends his last report from this year's Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro
Ensemble. Rossini's Last Sin - Giuseppe Pennisi attends a very special performance at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro
Ensemble. Promised in Marriage - Giuseppe Pennisi reports from the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro
Ensemble. Pappano's 'Ninth' - Giuseppe Pennisi reports on Beethoven from Rome's Parco della Musica
CD Spotlight. A Wide Emotional Spectrum - Alexandra Matvievskaya plays Fauré piano music, appreciated by Patrick Maxwell. '... played with a precise and enjoyable dexterity and with admirable clarity; the collection as a whole deserves to be celebrated.'
CD Spotlight. Resplendent Sound - Stephen Francis Vasta has mixed feelings about Mariss Jansons' 2008 recording of Bruckner's 'Romantic' Symphony. 'I enjoyed the focus and resonance of the bass strings, providing a solid support for the full orchestra; the lovely clarity of the woodwind principals - the bright, forward oboes and clarinets suggest the organ's reed stops - and the brass choir's full-bodied depth.'
CD Spotlight. Extraordinarily Gifted - Hans Rosbaud conducts Beethoven, and Gerald Fenech is impressed. 'These exceptional recordings, taped between 1953 and 1962, reveal a conductor of exceptional insight and unbounded energy, and these interpretations can be safely considered as among the very best of their time.'
CD Spotlight. Out of the Ordinary - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to a new recording of Verdi's 'Otello'. '... a new and beautiful reading ...'
CD Spotlight. Full-blooded Italianate Roots - Stephen Francis Vasta listens to Donizetti's 'La favorite'. '... Fabio Luisi projects the score with refinement and character.'
CD Spotlight. Lifting the Spirits - Reformation music, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Five hundred years of memorable music condensed into just seventy-one minutes and performed spectacularly by Jared Stellmacher and Mark Sudeith, sympathetically supported by the Chicago Gargoyle Brass and Organ Ensemble.'
CD Spotlight. Very Palatable - Geoff Pearce listens to orchestral music by Albéric Magnard. 'The quality of the performances by Philharmonisches Orchester Freiburg and conductor Fabrice Bollon is exemplary and complimentary to the work of this minor master.'
CD Spotlight. An Impressive Undertaking - Simon Rattle conducts Wagner's 'Die Walküre', heard by Giuseppe Pennisi. 'The singing and the orchestra raise this performance above the ordinary.'
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.'
CD Spotlight. Distinctly Continental - Patrick Maxwell listens to Brahms from Lars Vogt and the Royal Northern Sinfonia. '... carried off with impressive dexterity by the players ...'
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. A Celebratory Mood - Gerald Fenech is impressed with a new recording of Beethoven's Mass in C. 'Leif Segerstam leads a first-class group of soloists and brings out all the humanity and tenderness of the music with aplomb.'
CD Spotlight. Thus Conducted Mariss Jansons - Ona Jarmalavičiūtė discovers a unique listening experience on one of the Latvian conductor's last recordings, featuring Daniil Trifonov and the music of Richard Strauss. '... this maverick CD contains contrasting faces of Richard Strauss, Trifonov's virtuoso skills and one of the last memories of Mariss Jansons' conducting.'
CD Spotlight. Interesting Stuff - Beethoven's 'King Stephen' and other rare works, appreciated by Gerald Fenech. 'Finely performed and recorded, this CD is a must for all serious collectors and admirers of the great man.'
CD Spotlight. Unpredictable and Beautiful - Gerald Fenech admires volume 4 of Malcolm Martineau's 'Decades - A Century of Song'. 'The programme is mellifluously performed and all the songs give immense pleasure. Martineau's singers have fresh, youthful voices and they are consistently caring for each word in the texts, while his own playing is sensitive and coloured throughout.'
Beethoven 250 - In this year of celebration, Giuseppe Pennisi muses on Ludwig van Beethoven's modernity
CD Spotlight. A Splendid Performance - Rachel Mahon plays Canadian organ music, recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'A hugely enjoyable album, well worth hearing ...'
CD Spotlight. A Dynamic Vitality - Music for organ and orchestra by Saint-Saëns and Poulenc, recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'A hugely enjoyable album, well worth hearing ...'
CD Spotlight. An Absolute Soprano - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to a recording by Marina Rebeka. '... perfect emission ... consummate technical skills ...'
CD Spotlight. Something of a Marvel - Lucas Ball listens to J S Bach, Caroline Shaw and Robert Schumann, played by Amy Yang. '... Yang's delivery can be wild and exciting and even irritable but also depressing, lonely and longing.'
Exceptional Provenance - Anett Fodor tells the story of Beethoven, Liszt and the Little Broadwood
Ensemble. A More Intimate Approach - Mike Wheeler listens to Suppé, Dvořák and Holst at Derby Concert Orchestra's seventieth anniversary concert
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
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. Truly Admirable - Gerald Fenech listens to works by French composer Louise Farrenc. 'An exhilarating addition to the composer's discography, passionately performed and recorded.'
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. 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
Classical music news. The Elgar Festival - An annual celebration of the great British composer takes place in Worcester and Malvern, UK, during May
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
Ensemble. Romantic Ideals - Patrick Maxwell visits Vienna for Puccini's 'Tosca'
Classical music news. Frutillar Music Weeks - The Municipal Symphonic Orchestra of Copiapó gives a spectacular concert at Chile's most important classical music event
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.'
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. 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
Ensemble. Wagner's Revenge - Giuseppe Pennisi is puzzled by a political and contemporary reading of 'Parsifal'
Ensemble. Bel Canto Marvels - Giuseppe Pennisi experiences Bellini's rare opera 'I Capuleti e i Montecchi'
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 ...'
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.'
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. 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.'
Ensemble. Intimate Suffering - Tchaikovsky's 'Swan Lake' at Teatro dell'Opera di Roma, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
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.'
Ensemble. A Portrait in Courage - Giuseppe Pennisi celebrates Christmas with Ezio Bosso and the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
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. 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
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
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.'
Light and Shade - George Colerick writes about idealised beauty alongside the grotesque in the 1951 film 'The Tales of Hoffmann'
Ensemble. A Dramatic Requiem - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Verdi in Rome
Ensemble. Finely Balanced - Mozart, Shostakovich and Beethoven, played by the Artesian String Quartet, and heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Particularly Irresistible - Music by Smetana, Martinů and Dvořák from Laura van der Heijden, Pietari Inkinen and the Prague Symphony Orchestra impresses Mike Wheeler
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.'
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.'
Classical music news. The Great Composers - Five films to celebrate the 250th anniversary of Beethoven's birth, in cinemas from December 2019
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
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.'
Ensemble. Promised in Marriage - Giuseppe Pennisi reports from Rome on Rossini's first staged opera, asking who pays 'The Promissory Change'?
Ensemble. 'Don Quixote' Returns - Giuseppe Pennisi reports from Rome's Opera House on the Ludwig Minkus ballet
Ensemble. He'll Be Back - Fabien Gabel conducts the Hallé Orchestra, impressing Mike Wheeler
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'
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
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
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
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.'
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.'
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. 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.'
French Romanticism - George Colerick discusses orchestral music by Berlioz, Saint-Saëns, Delibes, Lalo, d'Indy, Debussy, Ravel, Honegger, Poulenc, Milhaud and others
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
Ensemble. A Star is Born - Giuseppe Pennisi is impressed by Enkeleda Kamani as Gilda in Verdi's 'Rigoletto' at La Scala, Milan
Ensemble. Orpheus in Limbo - Giuseppe Pennisi reports on Offenbach's 'Orpheus in the Underworld' at the Salzburg Festival
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
Ensemble. German Majesty - Patrick Maxwell listens to Bach and Bruckner from Michael Schönheit, Andris Nelsons and the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig
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
Ensemble. Young Rossini's 'Comedy for Adults' - Giuseppe Pennisi sends his final report from Pesaro
Ensemble. Rossini's Adolescent Opera - Giuseppe Pennisi reports from Pesaro on 'Demetrio e Polibio'
Ensemble. Sex and Power in Pesaro - Giuseppe Pennisi reports on a new production of 'Semiramide' at the Rossini Opera Festival
Ensemble. A Double Bridge - Giuseppe Pennisi attends 'Sarang è Amore' at the Korean Cultural Institute in Rome
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
Ensemble. Mastery and Versatility - Giuseppe Pennisi attends three Tokyo Ballet performances in Rome
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. 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. A Neat Idea - A song recital by James Gaughan and David Hammond, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Out of Nature - Giuseppe Pennisi was at the opening concert of the 2019 Chigiana International Festival
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. Italian Operas in Miskolc - Anett Fodor sends her final report from the 2019 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
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
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
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.'
Ensemble. From the Poignant to the Zany - Russian-born musicians Yulia Northridge and Ekaterina Shetliffe, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Mahler's 'Resurrection' - Giuseppe Pennisi reports on an Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia performance in Rome
Ensemble. Nothing but Praise - Opera North's concert-staged 'Aida', reviewed by Mike Wheeler
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.'
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.'
Ensemble. A Triumph - Alice McVeigh was at Covent Garden for the last performance of Gounod's 'Faust'
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
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 ...'
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
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
Ensemble. A Timeless Composition - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to interweaved movements from Beethoven and Ligeti, played by Herbert Schuch
Ensemble. A Powerful Experience - Rimsky-Korsakov and Messiaen from Ensemble Mirage, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Petrenko's Highly Dramatic 'Ninth' - Giuseppe Pennisi reports on a special concert in Rome
Ensemble. Aptly Hallucinatory - Janáček's 'Katya Kabanová' from Opera North, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
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.'
Vital Work - Margaret Fingerhut's UK piano recital tour raising awareness of the needs of refugees, recommended by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. A Fresh Pair of Ears - Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov and Sibelius from Vasily Petrenko and the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Satisfyingly Mysterious - Mike Wheeler listens to Lyadov, Stravinsky and Rachmaninov from Derby Concert Orchestra
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
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
Ensemble. A Popular Music Drama - Giuseppe Pennisi is impressed by Musorgsky's 'Khovanshchina' at La Scala Milan
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 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. A Children's Game - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to special Rossini in a special place
Ensemble. High Jinks - Roderic Dunnett enjoys Opera Warwick's production of Offenbach's 'La vie Parisienne'
Classical music news. Brahms and Schumann - András Schiff joins the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment for a series of concerts
Ensemble. Deceptively Undemonstrative - Mike Wheeler listens to Canadian/Romanian pianist Teo Gheorghiu
Ensemble. A Brand New 'Carmen' Ballet - Giuseppe Pennisi reports from the opening night at Teatro dell'Opera di Roma
Ensemble. Expressive Progression - Mike Wheeler enjoys a concert by Stephen Hough, Mark Elder and the Hallé Orchestra
Ensemble. An Odd Couple? - Kurtág and Brahms in concert, heard by Giuseppe Pennisi
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. The Tragedy of Not Dying - A new Florence production of Wagner's 'The Flying Dutchman' impresses Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Simply Glorious - Verdi's 'La Traviata', live in high definition from New York Metropolitan Opera, heard by Maria Nockin
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.'
Big-boned Works - Mike Wheeler listens to Hong Kong-born pianist Rachel Cheung playing Franck, Schumann and Liszt
Ensemble. Appealing and Dramatic - Verdi's 'Luisa Miller' live in HD from New York Metropolitan Opera, enjoyed by Maria Nockin
CD Spotlight. Superbly Played - Nineteenth century music for bassoon and piano, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'For bassoonists, this disc is indispensable. Bravo.'
Ensemble. Autumn Trilogy - Giuseppe Pennisi writes about three operas on the brink of the twentieth century, performed as a cycle in Ravenna
CD Spotlight. Gloomy and Worthless? - Sergei Rachmaninov's First Symphony impresses Gerald Fenech. 'Ashkenazy and his Philharmonia forces exude a quite brilliant performance full of explosive intensity and exuberance, and yet when warranted, their sensitive attention to detail is consistently refreshing.'
CD Spotlight. Programmatic Intentions - Karl Goldmark's Rustic Wedding Symphony, heard by Stephen Francis Vasta. 'Conductor Frank Beermann displays a nice feel for the sonorities: the overture's slow introduction is nicely layered, and clear textures render the lyric passages even more fetching.'
CD Spotlight. Precious Testimony - Historic Bruckner, recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... Furtwängler transforms the music into a cosmic glow that lightens the very depths of one's spirit.'
Ensemble. Opera Philology - Rossini's 'Torvaldo e Dorliska', reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. High Society Two Centuries Ago - Giuseppe Pennisi comments on Rossini's 'La Pietra di Paragone' in Pesaro
Ensemble. Third Time Lucky - Giuseppe Pennisi reports on the first performance of the original version of Rossini's 'Siege of Corinth'
CD Spotlight. Masterly Fusion - Tchaikovsky's music for violin and orchestra impresses Gerald Fenech. 'The American violinist Jennifer Koh interprets these testing pieces with dazzling virtuosity and passionate exuberance, and the Violin Concerto in particular is one of the most exciting renditions I have heard in recent times.'
CD Spotlight. Brilliantly Performed - Music by Halvorsen, Nielsen and Svendsen impresses Gerald Fenech. 'Henning Kraggerud's technical brilliance lends a balanced fluidity to all three works, and each is allowed to betray all the enterprising orchestral colours hidden within each score.'
CD Spotlight. A Beautiful Issue - Art songs by Franz Liszt, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Benjamin Brecher's sensitive performances are full of dramatic nuances and range of colour ...'
CD Spotlight. Dynamic Vigour - Orchestral music by Alexander Glazunov, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... disciplined, philosophical and electric interpretations ...'
CD Spotlight. Exhilarating Stuff - Piano music by Edward Loder, enjoyed by Gerald Fenech. 'Ian Hobson is a brilliant advocate of this sadly neglected repertoire ...'
Ensemble. Wit and Effervescence - Music in the Time of Goya, by Derek Murray
Ensemble. Clash of Civilizations - Rossini's 'Maometto II', reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
The Magic of Performance - Part II - On the Elusive Nature of the Nationalist Spirit in Music, by Andrew Schartmann
The Magic of Performance - Part I - Some thoughts on the performing artist's role in the 21st century, by Andrew Schartmann
Ensemble. A Thrill to Watch - Verdi's 'Nabucco' in HD from Sicily, enjoyed by Maria Nockin
Ensemble. Patriot and Terrorist? - New aspects of Rossini brought to light at the 2011 Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro, discussed by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Vocal Passion - Maria Nockin makes a virtual visit to Covent Garden for Verdi's 'Macbeth'
Ensemble. Highly Atmospheric - Massenet's 'Werther', reviewed by Robert Hugill
Ensemble. Dramatic Beauty - Works by Eötvös and Bartók, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. More Fantasy? - Robert Hugill has reservations about Terry Gilliam's production of Berlioz's 'The Damnation of Faust'
CD Spotlight. Eclectic Style - A triple concerto by Graham Reynolds, recommended by Ron Bierman. 'Performances are equal to the occasion ...'
Ensemble. Great Delicacy - Mike Wheeler listens to the Hallé Orchestra in Liszt, Schumann and Brahms
Ensemble. Rewarding Performances - Arizona Opera's 'The Abduction from the Seraglio', reviewed by Maria Nockin
Mahler versus Mahler - Two symphony orchestras are playing Mahler in Rome, by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. An Individual Spirituality - Contemporary music from London's Trinity Laban Conservatoire, heard by Malcolm Miller
Ensemble. Simple and Effective - A new production of Verdi's 'Nabucco' celebrates the 150th anniversary of Italy's Unification, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. A Real Triumph - The first Milan performance of Britten's 'Death in Venice' impresses Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Stunning Musical Performance - Donizetti's 'Lucrezia Borgia', reviewed by Robert Hugill
Ensemble. Drama and Comedy - British humour under the Neapolitan sun, in 'L'Elisir d'Amore' in Rome and San Francisco, by Giuseppe Pennisi
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
CD Spotlight. Many Levels - Chamber music by Mozart and Smetana, heard by Howard Smith. '... judged to perfection ...'
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
Ensemble. Profoundly Satisfying - Cherubini's 'Medée', reviewed by Robert Hugill
CD Spotlight. Well Worth Exploration - Orchestral music by Lodewijk Mortelmans, heard by Robert Anderson. 'The performances ... are a delight ...'
Ensemble. A Real Surprise - Celso Albelo hits Venice as Nemorino in Donizetti's 'L'Elisir d'Amore', by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Growing Up - Hans Werner Henze's 'Pollicino' thrills children and adults in Florence, by Giuseppe Pennisi
Heroes Step Up in Crisis - The Muti era lays claim to Chicago, by Barbara Sealock
Profile. Two Americans in Paris - Maria Nockin talks to Vivica Genaux and Lawrence Brownlee
Ensemble. Pilgrimages of the Soul - Giuseppe Pennisi visits Italy's Sagra Musicale Umbra
Majesty, Moment and Control - Ben Bloor's concluding recital for Derby Cathedral's 2010 summer organ series impresses Tony Westerman
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
Ensemble. Rather Quirky - Massenet's 'Manon' at Covent Garden, reviewed by Robert Hugill
Ensemble. Nearly a Male Lulu - 'Don Giovanni' in Aix-en-Provence, a black comedy of sex and loneliness, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Sisters Under the Skin - Donizetti's 'Maria Stuarda' at Opera North, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Flowers of Light - Puccini's 'I crisantemi' as a pedagogical tool for piano performance majors, by Heidi Lowy
Ensemble. Darkness to Light - Giuseppe Pennisi visits the Ravenna Festival
Ensemble. A Major Success - Ricky Ian Gordon's 'Orpheus & Euridice', experienced by Maria Nockin
CD Spotlight. Category Defying - Ensemble Polaris, recommended by Ron Bierman. 'Stockholm meets Nashville ...'
Ensemble. Almost Cinematic - Shchedrin's 'Anna Karenina' and other premières at The Stars of the White Nights Festival, by Giuseppe Pennisi
Stimulating Fare - Eugene Alcalay plays Bartók, Dutilleux and Beethoven, enjoyed by Malcolm Miller
Ensemble. Difficult to Forget - Richard Strauss' 'Die Frau ohne Schatten', enjoyed by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Major Delights - 'La traviata' from San Diego Opera, reviewed by Maria Nockin
CD Spotlight. Lyrical Powers - Orchestral music by Louis Spohr, heard by Robert Anderson. 'Howard Shelley and the Swiss orchestra clearly relish this unusual assignment.'
Ensemble. Fine Drama - Chelsea Opera Group's 'La Traviata', reviewed by Robert Hugill
DVD Spotlight. A New Light - La Scala gives 'Maria Stuarda' the royal treatment, by Gregory Moomjy. '... the cast was in fine voice ...'
Ensemble. The Quality of the Cooks - Verdi comic operas on stage, tasted by Giuseppe Pennisi
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. Finely Controlled - A concert by the Polish National Radio Symphony, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Musical Novelties - Café music from Vienna, enjoyed by Patric Standford
Ensemble. Lively and Spirited - A performance by Haydn Trio Eisenstadt, heard by Rebecca Schmid
Ensemble. A Sizzling Rendition - 'Carmen' from Phoenix Opera impresses Maria Nockin
CD Spotlight. Highly Challenging - Music for unaccompanied violin, heard by Howard Smith. '... searching performance ...'
CD Spotlight. Irresistible Enjoyment - Music by Mozart and Mendelssohn, heard by Howard Smith. '... a truly idiomatic performance ...'
Ensemble. Robust Voices - Susan Hampton visits Boston for Puccini's 'La bohème'
Ensemble. A Standout Production - New Zealand Opera's 'Eugene Onegin' impresses Howard Smith
Ensemble. A Different Rendition - Puccini's 'Tosca' on the big screen, reviewed by Maria Nockin
Arts and the Colour of Politics - Béla Hartmann muses on growing social equality and democratization
Ensemble. A Gala Atmosphere - Maria Nockin reports from Los Angeles Opera's opening night 'L'Elisir d'amore'
CD Spotlight. Utterly Absorbing - A sampler from Cedille Records, enjoyed by Howard Smith. '... top quality standards.'
Ensemble. Truly Enjoyable - Maria Nockin was at Los Angeles Opera's 'La Traviata'
CD Spotlight. Deceptive Naturalness - Red Priest's 'Nightmare in Venice', entertains Howard Smith. '... irrepressible, chic ...'
Ensemble. Student Life and Love - Puccini's 'La bohème' from Kentish Opera, enjoyed by Pippa Hare
Ensemble. A Romantic Style - A lecture-concert by M Zachary Johnson and his ensemble, reviewed by Anna L Franco
Ensemble. Thoroughly Enjoyable - An Arizona winter treat of Verdi's 'Aida', enjoyed by Maria Nockin
The Pianist as Elocutionist - Gordon Rumson airs his issues on the art-form as part of a book-length study
CD Spotlight. Widely Divergent Composers - Music for violin and piano, reviewed by George Balcombe. '... clear and consistent ...'
Composers and sexuality - Robert Hugill asks what effect sexuality can have on the art of writing music