VIDEO PODCAST: Slava Ukraini! - recorded on 24 February 2022, the day the world woke up to the news that Vladimir Putin's Russian forces had invaded Ukraine. A fifty minute video which also features Caitríona O'Leary and Eric Fraad discussing their new film Island of Saints, and pays tribute to Joseph Horovitz, Malcolm Troup and Maria Nockin.
Classical music news. Obituary - Lyell Cresswell (1944-2022)
CD Spotlight. An Immense Achievement - The final disc in Naxos' series of John Philip Sousa wind band music, recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... Keith Brion and his players do themselves proud with some superb playing full of dash and swagger ...'
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. Songs of Stevenson - Roderic Dunnett listens to a recital by Scottish bass Brian Bannatyne-Scott. '... a notably original disc ... well worth exploring.'
CD Spotlight. Vivacious Performances - Music from Scotland, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... a spectacular album full of inspirational melodies that go straight to the heart.'
CD Spotlight. Birdsong Fragments - 'Songs of Travel and Home' performed by Jullien van Mellaerts, recommended by Geoff Pearce. '... a singer with a very expressive voice, a pleasing tone, a great insight into the music he sings ...'
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. An Exquisite Compilation - A selection of popular orchestral music, recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Spiritedly performed and superbly recorded ...'
CD Spotlight. What to do with Bach? - Patrick Maxwell listens to the 'Goldberg Variations' on the accordion. 'Telari plays with an alluring sensitivity ...'
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 ...'
CD Spotlight. An Exemplary Partnership - Geoff Pearce is impressed by Mozart Violin Sonatas transcribed and played by oboist Olivier Stankiewicz, accompanied by Jonathan Ware. '... the performances here are astounding.'
CD Spotlight. Technical Brilliance - James Willshire plays piano music by Cecil Coles and Gustav Holst, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'James Willshire is renowned for his virtuosity and intelligence of his keyboard mastery, and all this is on display in this recital.'
CD Spotlight. Engrossingly Moving - Works for clarinet and orchestra by Nielsen, Copland and MacMillan, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'A challenging programme, superbly presented and recorded.'
CD Spotlight. Approachable Music - The complete violin and piano music of Lutosławski and Penderecki, strongly recommended by Geoff Pearce. 'The performances by violinist Michael Foyle and pianist Maksim Štšura are responsive, intelligent and very polished and I, for one, found this disc a delight.'
CD Spotlight. Enticing Orchestration - Gerald Fenech listens to tone poems by César Franck performed by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and conductor Jean-Luc Tingaud. 'This fine issue also includes three overtures ...'
CD Spotlight. Effervescent Beauty - Music by Pärt, Vasks and MacMillan, sung by the Choir of Clare College, Cambridge, impressing Patrick Maxwell. 'This recording from the Choir of Clare College Cambridge under the direction of Graham Ross cements their position as one of the finest church ensembles in the country ...'
CD Spotlight. Opposite Religious Poles - Secret Catholic music by William Byrd impresses Gerald Fenech. 'Absolute joy from beginning to end.'
CD Spotlight. Masterly Setting - Gerald Fenech listens to choral music by Kenneth Leighton. 'Performances are of a consistently high level throughout and blessed with a beautifully recorded sound.'
CD Spotlight. Jewel in the Scottish Musical Crown - Ona Jarmalavičiūtė is impressed by Mr McFall's Chamber. '... a vivid kaleidoscope of impromptu freely expressed creativity.'
CD Spotlight. A Distinctive Scottish Flavour - Geoff Pearce listens to chamber music and songs by Judith Weir. '... a fantastic disc ...'
Ensemble. Contemporary Resonances - Opera North's production of Martinů's 'Greek Passion', reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Profile. Tragic Expression - George Colerick discusses Georges Bizet, as the most vital French opera composer since Berlioz
CD Spotlight. Imaginative Touches - Rossini's 'Eduardo e Cristina', recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... sensitively dramatic singing, invigorating playing and some glowing conducting from Gianluigi Gelmetti ...'
CD Spotlight. Crossing Boundaries - Chamber music by Nigel Osborne, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... beguiling and vivid performances ...'
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 ...'
Vital Work - Margaret Fingerhut's UK piano recital tour raising awareness of the needs of refugees, recommended by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Idiomatically Revealing - Oxana Shevchenko plays Stravinsky for solo piano, heard by Roderic Dunnett. '... finely and deftly played.'
Ensemble. Triumph for 'The First' Macbeth - Giuseppe Pennisi reports from the 2018 Verdi Festival
CD Spotlight. Coherent and Interesting - Music for string quartet by Lyell Cresswell interests Geoff Pearce. 'The Red Note Ensemble, a Scottish group specialising in new music, gives taut, precise performances, played with conviction.'
CD Spotlight. Sensational - Maxwell Davies from the Hebrides Ensemble, recommended by Roderic Dunnett. 'As an approach to Maxwell Davies' music, this could scarcely be bettered.'
CD Spotlight. Infinitely Varied - English music for solo guitar, enjoyed by Geoff Pearce. 'If you love English guitar music, and the performances of Julian Bream in particular, you will truly enjoy this disc.'
Ensemble. A Joy to Hear - Michael Foyle and Maksim Stsura play Beethoven, Franck and Elgar, impressing Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. A Unique Journey - Boris Giltburg plays Rachmaninov, delighting Gerald Fenech. '... the soloist is consistently hands on on these challenging scores and his sense of timing and innate feeling for shaping grand tunes are effectively relayed.'
CD Spotlight. Impelling Drama - Arensky and Taneyev for violin and orchestra, heard by the late Howard Smith. '... Gringolts shows both purity of line and precise, mercurial bravura.'
CD Spotlight. Specially Reconstructed - Music for ancient giant horns, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... for those who wallow in the joys of past cultural mysteries and their unraveling, this issue is a must.'
Ensemble. Sex and Power - Verdi's 'Macbeth' in Palermo, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
CD Spotlight. Masterly Throughout - Erik Chisholm's opera 'Simoon', heard by Gerald Fenech. '... Chisholm rises to the occasion with some spectacular music ...'
CD Spotlight. Translucent Artistry - Vocal duets by Schumann, Mendelssohn and Cornelius, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'The two soloists exude immaculate performances full of smooth, silky singing, where every nuance behind each word and note is brought to light ...'
CD Spotlight. Crystalline Beauty - Stravinsky choral music, highly recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... Stravinsky's blend of the mystic and mundane never ceases to astound.'
CD Spotlight. Riveting Discoveries - Music from Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... as absorbing as it is enticing.'
Ensemble. An Engrossing Idea - Giuseppe Pennisi visits the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro for an original and moving 'La Donna del Lago'
CD Spotlight. Brilliant Playing - Organ music played by John Kitchen, enjoyed by Gerald Fenech. '... a curiously varied programme ...'
CD Spotlight. Highly Personal - Messiaen organ music, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'An excellent introduction to Messiaen's unique sound-world ...'
CD Spotlight. Incredible Musicianship - Ancient Scottish Highland music, recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Although not for the faint hearted, the rewards are great ...'
CD Spotlight. A Noble Simplicity - Piano music by Ronald Stevenson, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Christopher Guild delivers impressively clear and assured performances ...'
Profile. Highlighting Absurdity - Keith Bramich remembers his friend, the M&V contributor Robert Anderson
CD Spotlight. Women in Love - Schubert Lieder captivate Gerald Fenech. '... full of sensibility, ardour and vocal nuance ...'
Ensemble. A Flawed Production - Mike Wheeler has some reservations with Donizetti's 'Lucia di Lammermoor' at Buxton
CD Spotlight. Lovely and Imaginative - Scottish music from young performers impresses Geoff Pearce. '... beautifully performed ...'
CD Spotlight. Varied Programme - The Usher Hall organ impresses Gerald Fenech. 'John Kitchen oozes out every sound possible from this monster of an organ ...'
CD Spotlight. Assuredly Managed - Baroque premieres, heard by Howard Smith. '... Udagawa reveals its melodic character to the full.'
Ensemble. 'Lucia' in the Madhouse - Giuseppe Pennisi attends a memorial to Luca Ronconi
Ensemble. Undoubtedly Authentic - Rossini's 'La Donna del lago' delights Maria Nockin
CD Spotlight. Stirringly Uplifting - Organ music by William Faulkes, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Duncan Ferguson's renditions are as enthralling as they are warmly expressive ...'
CD Spotlight. Stunning Works - Music for string quartet by James MacMillan, recommended by Andrew Schartmann. '... expressive, virtuosic, and replete with subtle hues.'
CD Spotlight. Rhythmical Flair - David Wilde's Chopin impresses Robert Anderson. '... Wilde shows how it can be transformed in the hands of a master.'
Ensemble. Bringing Together - Roderic Dunnett visits James MacMillan's Cumnock Tryst
CD Spotlight. Scottish Dance - Music by Robert Mackintosh, recommended by Laura Kennelly. 'No problem feeling music's power here ...'
CD Spotlight. Poise and Serenity - Piano music by Alexander Chapman Campbell, heard by Keith Bramich. '... there are signs that ... Campbell ... knows exactly what he's doing.'
Ensemble. Unsex Me Here - Verdi, Shakespeare and Macbeth's lust for power, by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. A Poignant Heroine - Donizetti's 'Maria Stuarda' in HD from New York Metropolitan Opera, enjoyed by Maria Nockin
Ensemble. Taking Risks - English Touring Opera's Autumn productions, reviewed by Roderic Dunnett
Ensemble. Gothic Ambience - A fine performance of Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor' at Arizona Opera, enjoyed by Maria Nockin
CD Spotlight. A Vital Force - Music by Handel from Ludus Baroque impresses Howard Smith. '... robust, spring-heeled performances ...'
Ensemble. A Triumphant Macbeth - Under Riccardo Muti's baton, Verdi's first Shakespearean opera inaugurates Rome's opera season, by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. The Lady without the Lake - Rossini at La Scala, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
DVD Spotlight. Beyond Criticism - Paul Galbraith plays Mozart, Bach and Britten, recommended by Howard Smith. '... palpable, near-orchestral grandeur.'
CD Spotlight. Unpretentious but Satisfying - Piano music by Erik Chisholm, heard by Michael Graubart. '... effortless technique ...'
DVD Spotlight. A Disparate Experiment - 'Aria - Special Edition', reviewed by Howard Smith. 'You never know what you're gonna get.'
Palpable Sincerity - Robin Daniels pays tribute to the Scottish tenor Kenneth McKellar (1927-2010)
Ensemble. A Wonderful Rendition - Donizetti's 'Lucia di Lammermoor', enjoyed by Maria Nockin
Ensemble. Variety within Unity - A special concert dedicated to the music of British composer Ian Stewart, heard by Mary Isaac
CD Spotlight. Well Worth Exploration - Orchestral music by Lodewijk Mortelmans, heard by Robert Anderson. 'The performances ... are a delight ...'
Ensemble. Searing Eloquence - A centenary performance of Elgar's Violin Concerto, heard by Robert Anderson
Ensemble. Sisters Under the Skin - Donizetti's 'Maria Stuarda' at Opera North, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Airy Textures - Handel's 'Judas Maccabaeus', heard by Robert Anderson. '... the choral mood is everything.'
Ensemble. Pushing Back the Boundaries - London Sinfonietta's 'British Experiments', reviewed by Chris Graham
Ensemble. Power and Expressiveness - Janácek's 'Katya Kabanova', reviewed by Robert Hugill
CD Spotlight. A Spectral Atmosphere - Murray McLachlan plays music by Shostakovich and friends, recommended by Howard Smith. '... an outright triumph for the label and for McLachlan.'
DVD Spotlight. Malignant Fate - Donizetti's 'Maria Stuarda', recommended by Robert Anderson. '... wonderfully alert ...'
CD Spotlight. Mice in the Manger - A selection of Christmas music, enjoyed by George Balcombe. '... an amazing collection.'
Ensemble. A Fine Rendition - 'Così fan tutte' at Arizona Opera, reviewed by Maria Nockin
Bizarre Perception - Alistair Hinton discusses a recent article on English music by David Hamilton
Ask Alice - On location, social networking and the guitar, with classical music agony aunt Alice McVeigh
CD Spotlight. A Purposeful Vigour - Symphonies by Albéric Magnard impress Patric Standford. '... a notable symphonic architect.'
Making a Real Fuss - Robert Hugill looks forward to English Touring Opera's HandelFest this autumn
CD Spotlight. Glamorous Barbarity - John Corigliano's 'Circus Maximus', heard by Ron Bierman. 'The performances could not be bettered ...'
Ensemble. Wholly Captivating - Rossini's 'Italian Girl in Algiers' impresses Howard Smith
CD Spotlight. Compositional Mastery - Maxwell Davies' Naxos Quartets 9 and 10, applauded by Howard Smith. '... much to admire ...'
CD Spotlight. A Surefire Winner - A recital by Lin Jiang and Benjamin Martin, recommended by Howard Smith. '... superbly performed.'
CD Spotlight. Get Up and Dance - Elizabethan street songs, heard by Maria Nockin. '... plain good listening ...'
Remarkable Scope - On Ronald Stevenson's eightieth birthday, Patric Standford reads Colin Scott-Sutherland's 'Ronald Stevenson: The Man and his Music'
The Designer Touch - Tonina Doráti and opera production, as explained to Bill Newman
Record box. Colourfully set - Choral music by William McClelland, reviewed by Patric Standford
CD Spotlight. Adventurer and virtuoso - Rosemary Tuck plays the Celtic Fantasies of Vincent Wallace, reviewed by Patric Standford. '... splendid performance ...'