DISCUSSION: Defining Our Field - what is 'classical music' to us, why are we involved and what can we learn from our differences? Read John Dante Prevedini's essay, watch the panel discussion and make your own comments.
German classical music label Oehms Classics, based in Munich, supports and promotes young artists, international award winners and outstanding personalities from the music world, who are made accessible at low prices to a wide audience.
The label was founded in 2003 by Dieter Oehms, who was previously a manager with Deutsche Grammophon, Polygram and Arte Nova Classics, and attracted some former Arte Nova recording artists, including Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, to his own label.
Further information: oehmsclassics.de
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. Preserving Byrd's Momentum - John Dante Prevedini listens to William Byrd's keyboard music, played by Friederike Chylek. 'In every one of Chylek's interpretations, I hear an uncommonly sober balance of emotional expressiveness with technical clarity ...'
CD Spotlight. A Monumental Composition - Bruckner's first symphony transcribed for organ, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... towering performances ...'
CD Spotlight. Rachmaninov's 'Choral Symphony' - Stephen Francis Vasta is impressed by Dmitrij Kitajenko's recordings of Rachmaninov and Taneyev. '... a colourful, engaged reading ...'
CD Spotlight. Exciting and Superbly Executed - Franz Schreker's opera 'Der ferne Klang', highly recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Sebastian Weigle conducts this stirring but difficult work with wonderful intuition, bringing out all the luscious orchestral beauty with disarming clarity.'
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.'
CD Spotlight. An Absolutely Stunning Experience - Gerald Fenech is moved by organ transcriptions of symphonic music by Anton Bruckner. 'Memorable performances, high-tech sonics and informative annotations complete this superb and innovative first instalment that sets my imagination alight.'
CD Spotlight. Tristan, Isolde and God Almighty - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Olivier Messiaen's Turangalîla Symphony. 'On this rendering, British conductor Alexander Soddy handles very well the Nationaltheater Orchester of Mannheim, where he is general director of music, and the two soloists, Tamara Stefanovich at the piano and Thomas Bloch at the Ondes Martinot.'
CD Spotlight. Haydn at his Light-hearted Best - Haydn Cello Concertos, heartily recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... the brilliant and sparkling playing of Natalie Clein brings out all the beauty of this music.'
CD Spotlight. Committed and Highly Energetic - Gerald Fenech listens to Mahler 6 from the Essener Philharmoniker. 'Netopil has stiff competition but this meticulously detailed, immaculately paced, vibrantly played version can stand with heads held high among the most recent issues of this work.'
CD Spotlight. Full of Surprises - Michael Hofstetter's recording of Weber's 'Oberon', recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Recommended ... if only for the magical sound world created by Hofstetter.'
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.'
CD Spotlight. A True Czech Operatic Masterpiece - Gerald Fenech listens to Janáček's 'The Cunning Little Vixen'. 'This performance from Frankfurt has everything going for it ...'
CD Spotlight. Two Fine Violinists - Stephen Francis Vasta listens to music by Erich Wolfgang Korngold. 'Even the Violin Concerto ends with a downward chordal scale that 'resolves' to a dissonance, "à la" Charles Ives!'
CD Spotlight. Colourful Performance - Dmitrij Kitajenko conducts Mussorgsky and Prokofiev, heard by Stephen Francis Vasta. 'Vladislav Sulimsky sings with feeling in a compact, reasonably firm baritone ...'
CD Spotlight. Christ Recrucified - Bohuslav Martinu's 'The Greek Passion', heard by Paul Sarcich. '... the production is nothing less than workmanlike, rising in places to something more inspired ...'
CD Spotlight. Symphony of Pauses - Anton Bruckner's Second Symphony impresses Gerald Fenech. '... Bolton's interpretation is wonderfully paced, and his careful attention to detail allows all of the composer's thick orchestration to reveal its many touches of genius that give the score its grandeur and natural beauty.'
CD Spotlight. A Tough Nut - Richard Strauss orchestral music, heard by Stephen Francis Vasta. '... Weigle has his moments.'
CD Spotlight. A Short Straw? - Skrowaczewski conducts Brahms, heard by Howard Smith. '... Brahms' sonic architecture is overlooked.'