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. 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