The late Patric Standford may have written these short pieces deliberately to provoke our feedback. If so, his success is reflected in the rich range of readers' comments appearing at the foot of most of the pages.
CD Spotlight. Emotional Warmth and Richness of Melody - Gerald Fenech listens to music by Florence Price. '... this trailblazing composer must be listened to ...'
Ensemble. Earth and the Future of Mankind - Giuseppe Pennisi experiences 'Koyaanisqatsi', by Philip Glass, in Rome
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. A Connection with Mahler - Music by Penderecki, recommended by Geoff Pearce. 'The Polish Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Sopot, conducted by Wojciech Rajski, is magnificent.'
Ensemble. Water Under the Bridge - Mike Wheeler welcomes Mark Elder and the Hallé Orchestra back to Nottingham's Royal Concert Hall for the opening of the new season
Ensemble. A Modern Thriller - Giuseppe Pennisi was at a performance in Rome of the Italian version of Gian Carlo Menotti's 'The Medium'
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. A Wayward Artist with Many Talents - Gerald Fenech listens to music by Gerald Hugh Tyrwhitt-Wilson. 'David Lloyd-Jones has this music under his skin ...'
CD Spotlight. Music of Wit and Charm - Works by Ernst von Dohnányi and Leó Weiner, heard by Geoff Pearce. '... fine and unfamiliar music, played to perfection by the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Roberto Paternostro.'
CD Spotlight. Wonders from Finland - Newly discovered Finnish violin music, recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'An enthralling collection, superbly recorded ...'
Classical music news. Obituary - Mikis Theodorakis (1925-2021)
CD Spotlight. Reich through German Eyes and Ears - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to a Steve Reich anthology. '... a very dramatic reading with a small number of instrumentalists ...'
CD Spotlight. A Mother and Daughter Duo - Simon Farrugia finds 'El Gran Astor' superbly expressed in this new album by Duo Praxedis. 'The freshness of sound presented in this album gives a new dimension to Piazzolla's music ...'
CD Spotlight. Fluent and Popular Music - Ketèlbey piano works, commended by Gerald Fenech. 'Rosemary Tuck despatches these pieces with vigour and gusto ...'
CD Spotlight. An Exquisite Compilation - A selection of popular orchestral music, recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Spiritedly performed and superbly recorded ...'
CD Spotlight. Tibet in Rome - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to piano music by twentieth century Italian composer Giacinto Scelsi. 'The rendering by Sabine Liebner is spotless, in spite of the many traps of both scores.'
Ensemble. Particularly Striking - Mike Wheeler listens to the Richard Roddis Singers, performing for the first time in over two years
Ensemble. Old and New - Giuseppe Pennisi returns to the Chigiana Festival
Ensemble. The Scent of Rome - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to two concerts on the same evening in Italy's capital city
Ensemble. A Year Late - Keith Bramich pays a visit to the Three Choirs Festival
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.'
Ensemble. A Long-lost Operatic Masterpiece? - Mike Wheeler is not so sure about Malcolm Arnold's 'The Dancing Master', as performed at the Buxton Festival
Ensemble. A Transgressive Butterfly - Giuseppe Pennisi was in the audience in Rome
Ensemble. Whatever He's On, I Want Some - Mike Wheeler listens to Kathryn Stott's Buxton recital
CD Spotlight. A Very Special CD - Band music by John Philip Sousa, recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Sensitive and engrossingly passionate performances ...'
Ensemble. Virtuoso Exuberance - Mike Wheeler listens to the Pelléas Ensemble at the Buxton Festival
Ensemble. A Magical Production - Mike Wheeler reports on the Buxton Festival's first ever musical - Stephen Sondheim's 'A Little Night Music'
Ensemble. A Long Love Affair - Giuseppe Pennisi attends the Stravinsky anniversary celebrations in Rome
Ensemble. The Seven Year Itch - Giuseppe Pennisi visits the Chigiana International Festival and Summer Academy
CD Spotlight. An Inspiring Testament - Hungarian music played by the Offenburg String Trio, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Sensitive and engrossingly passionate performances ...'
CD Spotlight. Hugely Influential - Music by Richard Addinsell, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... absolutely enthralling, revelatory and consistently vibrant.'
CD Spotlight. Stravinsky's Breakthrough - Gerald Fenech listens to Diaghilev's commissions. '... absolutely enthralling, revelatory and consistently vibrant.'
Ensemble. Catching Up - Giuseppe Pennisi attends the final two concerts of the Musica d'Amare Festival in Rome
Classical music news. Obituary - Louis Andriessen (1939-2021)
Ensemble. When I'm Sixty-Four - Giuseppe Pennisi visits the Spoleto Festival
Ensemble. Fresh and Appealing - Mike Wheeler listens to the Françaix Wind Trio
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. Extremely Rare - 'Mademoiselle de Belle-Isle' by Spyridon Samaras, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Performances are excellent ...'
CD Spotlight. A Strong Partnership - Riviera Lazeri and David Boldrini play Martinů Cello Sonatas, heard by Geoff Pearce. '... the performances on this disc are truly very admirable.'
CD Spotlight. Transcendental Studies - The music of English composer Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji from an Italian perspective, by Giuseppe Pennisi. 'On the two CDs, Fredrik Ullén demonstrates enthusiasm for Sorabji as well as high technical skills.'
Ensemble. Time to Become More Widely Known - Keith Bramich listens to orchestral and chamber music by Adrian Williams
Ensemble. Three Days in Ravenna - Giuseppe Pennisi samples Northern Italy's high profile and wide-ranging arts festival
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. An Invaluable Collection - Symphonies by Marcel Poot, heard by Geoff Pearce. '... generally the playing and sound is very good.'
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
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?
CD Spotlight. Delightful and Colourful - Geoff Pearce recommends a new Chandos recording of music by Henri Dutilleux. 'This music will delight all who hear it ...'
CD Spotlight. The Roaring Twenties - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to the first complete recording of Reynaldo Hahn's 'Ô mon bel inconnu'. '... a period-piece that, musically, can be very much enjoyed today ...'
CD Spotlight. A Master of Improvisation - Music by Roland Dyens played by Anna Mnich and recommended by Geoff Pearce. 'The guitarist is clean in her execution, sympathetic in her musical treatment and her harmonics are flawless.'
Ensemble. A Fitting Environmentalist Update - Adam J Sacks listens to Prokofiev in Hong Kong
CD Spotlight. Violin Concertos with Oriental Flavors - Ona Jarmalavičiūtė listens to music by Nai-Chung Kuan and Joel Hoffman. '... a new musical experience ...'
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. History of an Ancient Town - Music by Paul Hindemith, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'This excellent disc has strong performances by orchestra, chorus and vocal soloists.'
Ensemble. Pelléas in the Waters - Giuseppe Pennisi experiences a new Italian production of Debussy's opera via TV
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. 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. Beautifully Crafted - Geoff Pearce listens to Lieder by Swiss composers Hans Schaeuble, Frank Martin, Peter Mieg, Othmar Schoeck and Arthur Honegger. '... one of the loveliest discs I have ever heard.'
Ensemble. A Call from On High - Mike Wheeler listens to the Sinfonia Viva Brass Quintet
CD Spotlight. A Strange Beauty - Symphonies by Daniel Jones, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'The BBC Welsh Symphony Orchestra delivers fine performances, as does the direction of its conductor, Bryden Thomson.'
Classical music news. Obituary - Simon Bainbridge (1952-2021)
Classical music news. Obituary - Jane Manning (1938-2021)
Ensemble. Deadly Sins - Giuseppe Pennisi reports on a Weill/Brecht double bill from La Scala Milan
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. Elegant and Innovative - Giuseppe Pennisi experiences Teatro dell'Opera di Roma's Homage to Stravinsky
CD Spotlight. Absolutely Fantastic - Music by Schnittke for violin and piano, recommended by Geoff Pearce. 'The performances are great all round, and this is a useful addition to anyone's collection.'
Ensemble. A Higher Synthesis - Adam J Sacks marks the re-convening of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
Ensemble. Change of Perspective - Mike Wheeler reviews Sinfonia Viva's streamed performance from Chatsworth House in Derbyshire, UK
CD Spotlight. Lusciously Fragile - Music by Ottorino Respighi, enjoyed by Gerald Fenech. 'Davide Alogna performs the Concerto with unbridled dexterity ...'
Ensemble. A Half-Successful Experiment - Teatro Comunale di Bologna's new production of Cilea's 'Adriana Lecouvreur', reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
CD Spotlight. An Enchanting, Levitating Musical Experience - Choral music by Arvo Pärt, sung by Vilnius Municipal Choir Jauna Muzika and reviewed by Ona Jarmalavičiūtė. '... performed beautifully.'
CD Spotlight. Benjamin Britten and James Joyce - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to two sets of English folk and other songs. '... very good listening ...'
CD Spotlight. Saying Goodbye - Music in response to Debussy's early death, reviewed by Geoff Pearce. 'The performances are great all round, and this is a useful addition to anyone's collection.'
CD Spotlight. The Dead in the Square - Allan Pettersson's Symphony No 12, strongly recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Christian Lindberg gives a colossal interpretation of this difficult score, where everybody involved is wholly engrossed in Pettersson's unique creation.'
CD Spotlight. An Absolute Delight - Volume three of Charles Koechlin's 'Les Chants de Nectaire' impresses Geoff Pearce. '... Nicola Woodward's playing is sumptuous, insightful and virtuosic when it needs to be, without ever being flashy.'
Classical music news - Steven Gerber - The English Symphony Orchestra presents a Steven Gerber portrait concert
CD Spotlight. Enigmatic yet Fascinating - Music by Rued Langgaard for violin and piano, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'The conclusion of a visionary cycle that is worthy of serious attention.'
CD Spotlight. In Grand Style - Ballet music by Tcherepnin, enjoyed by Geoff Pearce. 'The Moscow Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Henry Shek, performs this music ... with all the passion and commitment such a score requires.'
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
CD Spotlight. Fresh and Startlingly Immediate - Forgotten recordings from George Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra, unreservedly recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... the music is dispatched with energetic vigour, which was the hallmark of all Szell's performances.'
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.'
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. 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. Twilight of Dreams - Giuseppe Pennisi experiences a pastiche for our times at the opening of Teatro Massimo di Palermo's 2021 season
CD Spotlight. Metamorphosis of a Georgian Soul - John Dante Prevedini reviews essential recordings of the Giya Kancheli symphonies. '... a unique symphonic expression of the Georgian experience ...'
CD Spotlight. A Superb Set - The complete symphonies of Heitor Villa-Lobos, recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Octogenarian Brazilian conductor Isaac Karabtchevsky's performances are fine and show no lack of passion or vigour.'
CD Spotlight. Strauss from the Antipodes - Giuseppe Pennisi reviews rarely-heard François Couperin orchestral transcriptions by Richard Strauss. '... good rendering by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra under Jun Märkl ...'
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.'
Classical music news - Dreams of a New Day - Cedille Records announces new releases for 2021
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.'
Ensemble. Melody and Mayhem - The English Symphony Orchestra's New Year's Eve offering, heard by Alice McVeigh
CD Spotlight. An Atmosphere of Serene Beauty - Matthew Washington Kennedy's 'familiar favorites', recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Hugely pleasant stuff, passionately executed and recorded.'
Ensemble. Modern Italian Music in Rome - Works by Francesco Pennisi, Goffredo Petrassi and Marcello Panni, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
A Tale of Two Centuries - Jenna Orkin reads Emile Naoumoff's 'Chronicles With Nadia Boulanger'
CD Spotlight. Six Composers, Piano, Strings and Voice - Ona Jarmalavičiūtė listens to works by six female composers. '... performed profoundly ...'
CD Spotlight. Angels in Paris - Two sets of solo flute music by Charles Koechlin, recommended by Geoff Pearce. '... Nicola Woodward's flute playing in the two sets that I have heard is sumptuous and varied, and one could not wish for a finer performance.'
Ensemble. Brecht and Weill's Final Collaboration - 'The Seven Deadly Sins' streamed live by Opera North, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Stylistically Varied - Geoff Pearce recommends music by Mikis Theodorakis and Jani Christou. '... the varied moods, colours and textures are brought vividly to life.'
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. A Vision of Ambivalence and Incoherence - Music by Kalevi Aho, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... it makes huge demands on the listener ...'
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. A Unique and Modern Dissonance - The complete piano music of Lennox Berkeley, heard by Patrick Maxwell. '... Douglas Stevens has given all of his works here a brilliant series of renditions ...'
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. Górecki's Strings - Giuseppe Pennisi compares two recent recordings of Górecki string quartets. '... Quatuor Molinari has a more melancholic approach than the Tippett Quartet.'
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.'
Classical music news - The Piano Student - A 2019 novel about pianist Vladimir Horowitz is published in the United States and United Kingdom this month in an English translation
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
Classical music news - The Story of Babar - On Friday 6 November 2020, Nimbus will release a CD single of Miriam Margolyes and Simon Callaghan performing Poulenc's setting of Cécile and Jean de Brunhoff's 'The Story of Babar, the Little Elephant'
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. Mystical Eastern Chants - Gerald Fenech is impressed by Igor Kuljerić's Croatian Glagolitic Requiem. 'An enticing discovery that has all the hallmarks to command serious investigation from all music lovers across the board. Sound and presentation are first-rate.'
CD Spotlight. Imaginative Prowess - Gerald Fenech listens to piano music by the twentieth century English composer Herbert Howells. 'Deeply attractive music, sensitively played and sumptuously recorded.'
CD Spotlight. Particularly Arresting - Further music by the recently deceased American composer Paul Reale impresses Geoff Pearce. 'Although these works are in an unmistakably modern idiom, they are exciting, fresh and performed with panache.'
CD Spotlight. Magic and Mystery - Gerald Fenech listens to music for guitar and orchestra played by Junhong Kuang, Darrell Ang and the Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Pardubice. 'An attractive assortment of guitar music from both sides of the Atlantic, marvellously executed and recorded, with some well researched notes thrown in for good measure.'
CD Spotlight. A Swiss Household Name - Music for guitar by Hans Haug and Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... the enchanting playing of Marisa Minder is memorable throughout.'
CD Spotlight. Matching Words with Music - Gerald Fenech listens to music for soprano and clarinet by Lori Laitman, Kalmen Opperman and Diana Rosenblum. 'The programme is delivered with panache and polished maturity ...'
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. Highly Enjoyable - Gerald Fenech listens to film music played by Iain Sutherland and the Philharmonic Promenade Orchestra. '... brought to light with the utmost conviction.'
CD Spotlight. Hidden Secrets - Gerald Fenech listens to twentieth century British piano music played by Nathan Williamson. '... brought to light with the utmost conviction.'
CD Spotlight. Night and Day - Osmo Vänskä's recording of Mahler's Symphony No 7, recommended by Patrick Maxwell. 'The music on this impressive recording deserves much larger recognition ...'
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. Primitive Brazilianness - Music for piano and orchestra by José Antônio de Almeida Prado, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Beautifully recorded and annotated.'
CD Spotlight. An Unusual Debut - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to music by Ravel, James Francis Brown and Liana Alexandra, performed by Andrea Oliva and the Hemisphaeria Trio. '... an innovative program by a very promising ensemble.'
CD Spotlight. Ostentatiously Evocative - Vadim Gluzman plays music by Pēteris Vasks, heard by Patrick Maxwell. 'The music on this impressive recording deserves much larger recognition ...'
Classical music news. Obituary - Julian Bream (1933-2020)
CD Spotlight. Soulful Awareness - Patrick Maxwell listens to Margarita Gritskova and Maria Prinz performing Prokofiev songs. '... played with a precise and enjoyable dexterity and with admirable clarity; the collection as a whole deserves to be celebrated.'
Ensemble. Respecting the Spirit of The Merry Widow - Giuseppe Pennisi relates how 'Die lustige Witwe' is enthralling Rome
CD Spotlight. Impressive Dexterity - Gerald Fenech listens to orchestral music by American composers William Dawson and Ulysses Kay. 'Arthur Fagen draws some immaculate playing from his Viennese Orchestra ...'
Classical music news. Obituary - Paul Reale (1943-2020)
CD Spotlight. Gentle and Tender Stravinsky - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to violin and piano music by the Russian master. '... a new and beautiful reading ...'
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.'
Ensemble. 'New Music' in Rome - Giuseppe Pennisi reports from the last of the Accademia Filarmonica Romana's summer concerts
CD Spotlight. A Powder-keg of Uncontrolled Passions - Gerald Fenech is impressed with this new recording of Korngold's 'Violanta'. '... Pinchas Steinberg's insightful reading draws some hot-blooded singing and playing.'
Ensemble. Siena Wins a Heroic Bet - Giuseppe Pennisi attends the opening performance of the completely re-designed Chigiana International Festival and Summer Academy
Classical music news. Obituary - Ennio Morricone (1928-2020)
Classical music news. Obituary - Nikolai Kapustin (1937-2020)
Classical music news. The Mother - In July 2020 Dacapo Records will release the first recording of Carl Nielsen's complete music for Helge Rode's play 'Moderen'
CD Spotlight. Fierce Criticism - Gerald Fenech listens to orchestral music by Rodion Shchedrin and Ottorino Respighi. '... a fitting tribute to Mariss Jansons ...'
Drastically Revised - Giuseppe Pennisi looks at the detail of the replanned 2020 Salzburg Festival
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. Soft-painted Colours - Gerald Fenech listens to music by Norwegian composer David Monrad Johansen. 'This is brilliantly performed Nordic music with warmth written all over it.'
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. Audacious Symphonic Language - Prokofiev's Symphonies Nos 3 and 6 played by the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Pietari Inkinen and his German ensemble are on top form and both symphonies receive compelling interpretations full of cohesive and dynamic playing.'
Classical music news. Obituary - Marcello Abbado (1926-2020)
Classical music news. Obituary - Myroslav Skoryk (1938-2020)
CD Spotlight. Supremely Pianistic - Gerald Fenech finds pure joy in Etsuko Hirose's recent Moszkowski piano works disc. 'Truly hair-raising stuff, wonderfully annotated and recorded.'
Profile. Connecting the Natural and Human Worlds - Ona Jarmalavičiūtė talks to the Welsh composer Hilary Tann
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. Magical Repertoire - Rimsky-Korsakov's 'Kashchei the Immortal', enjoyed by Gerald Fenech. 'Do not be taken aback; the sound quality is miraculous and I enjoyed listening to this historic venture with immense pleasure.'
CD Spotlight. Youthful Influences - Early string quartets by William Alwyn, heard by Patrick Maxwell. '... carried off with impressive dexterity by the players ...'
CD Spotlight. Meaning and Identity - Gerald Fenech listens to Leonard Bernstein's first two symphonies. 'A wholly impressive issue, brilliantly performed and recorded ...'
Classical music news - If The Night Grows Dark - Bright Shiny Things releases soprano Camille Zamora's survey of four centuries of Spanish song
CD Spotlight. Love's Trials and Rewards - Gustav Holst's 'The Cloud Messenger', recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'This colourful chamber version by Joseph Fort lends the more tender passages a new intimacy and clarity, while retaining much of the force of the original and preparing the foundations for a new life in performance.'
CD Spotlight. Undoubted Historical Importance - Paul Sarcich listens to music by Nikos Skalkottas. '... Skalkottas is no slave of Schoenberg - he has his own take on Schoenberg's methods and one could not confuse the two.'
CD Spotlight. Full of Colours and Flavour - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to music from Sharon Isbin and the Pacifica Quartet. '... an original program and excellent rendering make very pleasant listening.'
CD Spotlight. Prevailing Classicism - Music by Prokofiev for the cello, reviewed by Gerald Fenech. 'Conductor, soloists and orchestra get under Prokofiev's skin with renditions full of fire and energy, spiced with a Slavonic spirit that complements the texture of the music - mesmerising virtuosity matched only by the genius of the composer.'
CD Spotlight. Youthfulness and Energy - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to chamber music by Paul Hindemith. '... an explosion of happiness and a real whirlwind from the very fast introduction to the vibrant finale ...'
CD Spotlight. Psychological Acuity - Music for harp by Boris Tishchenko impresses Gerald Fenech. '... challenging but highly rewarding music, passionately performed and sumptuously recorded.'
CD Spotlight. Thoroughly Enjoyable - Dohnányi's 'The Veil of Pierrette', recommended by Geoff Pearce. 'The rapid changes of mood and atmosphere are well done, and the playing of all concerned is exemplary.'
CD Spotlight. A Splendid Performance - Rachel Mahon plays Canadian organ music, recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'A hugely enjoyable album, well worth hearing ...'
Ensemble. Terrific Energy - Mike Wheeler reviews a recording of Opera North's recent production of Kurt Weill's 'Street Scene'
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. Highly Effective - Gerald Fenech listens to miniatures by William Mathias. '... splendid and sweetly unaffected performances ...'
CD Spotlight. Eschatological Truth - Gerald Fenech is inspired by Josef Suk's 'Asrael' Symphony. '... Jakob Hrůša gives a compelling rendition that is intense, profound and consistently electrifying.'
Classical music news. Obituary - Krzysztof Penderecki (1933-2020)
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. The Charm of 'La Nuova Commedia Dell'arte' - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Busoni's 'Turandot' and 'Arlecchino'. '... this is a book and two CDs to enjoy and to make an elegant gift.'
Classical music news. Obituary - Gerard Schurmann (1924-2020)
Ensemble. A More Intimate Approach - Mike Wheeler listens to Suppé, Dvořák and Holst at Derby Concert Orchestra's seventieth anniversary concert
CD Spotlight. Immediately Engaging - Raphael Wallfisch plays cello concertos by Mieczysław Weinberg, recommended unreservedly by Geoff Pearce. 'This magnificent disc showcases the work of a composer who is still relatively under-represented in recording catalogues and on the concert platform.'
Classical music news. Obituary - Charles Wuorinen (1938-2020)
CD Spotlight. Great Advocacy - Gerald Fenech listens to orchestral music by Nikos Skalkottas. 'Stefanos Tsialis draws impassioned playing from his Athens ensemble, and the openheartedness and technical finesse with which these works are despatched is beyond admiration.'
CD Spotlight. Serious and Entertaining - Ona Jarmalavičiūtė listens to choral music by William Mathias. '... each moment ... truly captivates and draws further.'
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. 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. Of Considerable Interest - Music by Gian Francesco Malipiero, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'This excellent Naxos disc is well worth exploring, and performances from all concerned are very fine indeed.'
Ensemble. Sheer Contrast - Prokofiev and Beethoven symphonies from the Hallé Orchestra and Mark Elder, impressing Mike Wheeler
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.'
Ensemble. The Finest Musical Superglue - Mike Wheeler witnesses 'Energy', Sinfonia Viva's latest schools project
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. Exquisitely Beautiful - Music for percussion by Chou Wen-chung, Chinary Ung, Lei Liang, Michael Pisaro and Edgard Varèse, heard by Ron Bierman
Classical music news. The Elgar Festival - An annual celebration of the great British composer takes place in Worcester and Malvern, UK, during May
Classical music news. Obituary - Reinbert de Leeuw (1938-2020)
Ensemble. Relaxed and Exuberant - Mike Wheeler listens to Cavendish Winds playing Mozart, Danzi, Debussy, Arnold, Vaughan Williams, Holst, Bozza, Ligeti and Gershwin
Portraits. Jenő Huszka - In defence of operetta and copyright, by Anett Fodor
Ensemble. Romantic Ideals - Patrick Maxwell visits Vienna for Puccini's 'Tosca'
Ensemble. Undeniably Exciting - Mike Wheeler listens to Bizet, Ravel, Debussy, Anna Thorvaldsdottir, Sibelius and Walton from Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, Yan Pascal Tortelier and the Iceland Symphony Orchestra
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
Ensemble. Darmstadt is Dead - A performance of 'Hyperion' in Rome celebrates Bruno Maderna's centenary, and Giuseppe Pennisi is in the audience
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. Unusual and Colourful - Contemporary orchestral works and concertos by James Lentini, Rain Worthington, Jan Järvlepp, Peter Castine and Beth Mehocic, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'The performances are committed and enjoyable.'
CD Spotlight. Style and Panache - Gerald Fenech listens to flute music by Mieczysław Weinberg. 'A compelling disc which should keep the renewed interest in Weinberg's musical legacy on the upward curve.'
Ensemble. Gruesome and Engrossing - Giuseppe Pennisi experiences Franco Alfano's rarely performed opera 'Risurrezione' in Florence
George Flynn on CD: An Overview - Esdras Mugatik explores the work of this American composer
CD Spotlight. High Praise - Gerald Fenech listens to film music by Gerard Schurmann. 'Notes and sound are superb. A must for film addicts.'
CD Spotlight. Fresh and Engaging - Villa-Lobos, Bax and Bolcom from Kerry Duwors and Futaba Niekawa, recommended by Geoff Pearce. '... the sheer musicianship, combined with flawless technique and imaginative programming, never fails to impress me.'
CD Spotlight. Contrast and Energy - Modern wind chamber music, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'This is an enjoyable disc with quite a diversity of styles, performed by musicians of high calibre. I think most people who listen to these works will enjoy them.'
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. Interesting and Entertaining - Geoff Pearce listens to music by Paul Reale. '... a fantastic disc ...'
CD Spotlight. A Distinctive Scottish Flavour - Geoff Pearce listens to chamber music and songs by Judith Weir. '... a fantastic disc ...'
CD Spotlight. The Harpsichord's Newest Reincarnation - Ona Jarmalavičiūtė listens to twentieth century harpsichord concertos. 'Not many harpsichord players are as multifaceted and expressive as Jory Vinikour when interpreting modern music.'
120 Years Ago - A snapshot of the musical world at the turn of the twentieth century, by George Colerick
Ensemble. Much to Enjoy - Christmas with the Sitwell Singers, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Unhurried and Spacious - Geoff Pearce listens to Ernst von Dohnányi's first symphony. '... a fantastic disc ...'
Ensemble. Mischievous Silences - Lithuanian pianist Ugnius Pauliukonis plays Haydn, Chopin and Debussy, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. A Tradition Still Alive - Gerald Fenech listens to Advent carols from King's College London. 'A hugely beautiful issue, full of inspiring singing and emotional joy, performed with fine control, impressive depth of tone and a dynamic range that commands one's admiration from start to finish.'
Ensemble. Trade Secrets - Mike Wheeler listens to guitarist Craig Ogden and friends
Ensemble. Varied in Tone and Style - Mike Wheeler listens to twentieth-century British music played by Derby Concert Orchestra
Profile. Universality of Emotion - Ona Jarmalavičiūtė talks to American composer Rain Worthington
CD Spotlight. Arrangements for Chamber Orchestra - Gerald Fenech listens to scaled-down Busoni, Debussy and Mahler. 'All four works retain a certain freshness in their new garb, and despite the sound world created being slightly less opulent than their orchestral originals, they still acquire a more fully-fleshed structure than some keyboard reductions.'
Light and Shade - George Colerick writes about idealised beauty alongside the grotesque in the 1951 film 'The Tales of Hoffmann'
Ensemble. Nicely Shaped - Mike Wheeler listens to Duruflé and Ola Gjeilo from Derby Choral Union and its new musical director Paul Provost
Classical music news. Obituary - Mariss Jansons (1943-2019)
Ensemble. Special Moments - Adam J Sacks provides a Hong Kong snapshot on the classical music world
Ensemble. Finely Balanced - Mozart, Shostakovich and Beethoven, played by the Artesian String Quartet, and heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. As Fresh As Ever - Mike Wheeler takes stock of Benjamin Britten's 1948 cantata 'St Nicholas'
Classical music news. Obituary - Juan Orrego-Salas (1919-2019)
Classical music news. Obituary - Colin Mawby (1936-2019)
Classical music news. Obituary - Cecilia Seghizzi (1908-2019)
Ensemble. Particularly Irresistible - Music by Smetana, Martinů and Dvořák from Laura van der Heijden, Pietari Inkinen and the Prague Symphony Orchestra impresses Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Economical but Effective - Giuseppe Pennisi reviews the new production of Puccini's 'Trittico' in Florence
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.'
A Different Kind of Minimalism - A P Virag investigates Ervin Nyiregyházi's '36 Selected Works for Solo Piano'
Ensemble. Contemporary Resonances - Opera North's production of Martinů's 'Greek Passion', reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Well-chosen Contrasts - Sinfonia Viva is joined by Nottingham Harmonic Choir and vocal soloists for an evening of Sibelius, Mozart, Vasks and Salonen, impressing Mike Wheeler
The Ballets Russes - George Colerick tells the story of the early twentieth century ballet company
Classical music news. Obituary - Márta Kurtág (1927-2019)
Classical music news. Obituary - Zoltán Jeney (1943-2019)
Classical music news. Obituary - Hansheinz Schneeberger (1926-2019)
Classical music news. Obituary - Chou Wen-chung (1923-2019)
Ensemble. He'll Be Back - Fabien Gabel conducts the Hallé Orchestra, impressing Mike Wheeler
Classical music news. Obituary - Hans Zender (1936-2019)
Classical music news. Obituary - Raymond Leppard (1927-2019)
Profile. A Silver Age - George Colerick writes about Franz Lehár, probably the greatest twentieth century composer of operettas
Piquant Ensemble. Contrasts - A cello and violin recital by Katherine Jenkinson and Ning Kam, heard by Mike Wheeler
Portraits. Zoltán Kodály: Part II - by Anett Fodor
CD Spotlight. Something of Rare Beauty - Twentieth century oboe sonatas by York Bowen, Petr Eben, Henri Dutilleux, Eugène Bozza, Francis Poulenc and Camille Saint-Saëns, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'What a fantastic and inspiring team Alex Klein and Phillip Bush make.'
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.'
Ensemble. Hausmusik in the Palatine Hall - by Giuseppe Pennisi
Profile. An Innate Songster - On George Gershwin's birthday, George Colerick takes a critical look at the composer of 'Rhapsody in Blue'
Classical music news. Obituary - Christopher Rouse (1949-2019)
Portraits. Zoltán Kodály: Part I - From the Academy to His First Success, by Anett Fodor
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
French Romanticism - George Colerick discusses orchestral music by Berlioz, Saint-Saëns, Delibes, Lalo, d'Indy, Debussy, Ravel, Honegger, Poulenc, Milhaud and others
CD Spotlight. Truly Lovely - Music by Petr Eben for girls' choir impresses Geoff Pearce. 'This great disc of an exceptional girls' choir performing the work of one of Bohemia's most important voices does not disappoint in any way ...'
Ensemble. Back to the Future - Giuseppe Pennisi attends a gala evening in Rome dedicated to two experimental works
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
CD Spotlight. Understated Sensuousness - Symphonies by Nikolay Myaskovsky intrigue Geoff Pearce. '... the Ural Youth Symphony Orchestra (conducted by Alexander Rudin) plays very well indeed, especially considering the age of the players. I am particularly impressed by the woodwind and brass, which never fail to impress.'
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. Myths and Modernity - Giuseppe Pennisi sends his first report from the 2019 Salzburg Festival
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
CD Spotlight. Hauntingly Beautiful - Rachmaninov's Vespers, recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Although the choir is not Russian, performances are as passionately devotional as one can expect, particularly the soprano and bass sections, who capture the wide range of dynamics with astounding clarity and vision.'
Classical music news. Obituary - Barrington Pheloung (1954-2019)
Lost Music for Lost Souls - Richard Meszto tells the story of the re-discovery of Allan Rae's music for 'Charles Manson AKA Jesus Christ', a play by Fabian Jennings
Ensemble. A Double Bridge - Giuseppe Pennisi attends 'Sarang è Amore' at the Korean Cultural Institute in Rome
Profile. Only the Screen - Ona Jarmalavičiūtė talks to the Belgian singer and conductor Tore Tom Denys
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. Magnificent Symphonies - Beethoven, Shostakovich and Musorgsky from Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra impress Patrick Maxwell
CD Spotlight. Bold Simplicity - Patrick Maxwell listens to music from Wadham College Chapel, Oxford. 'The choral sound is well produced, if at times lacking in cohesion, and the interpretations at the hands of Katharine Pardee are well handled.'
Ensemble. Fierce Commitment - Gillian Moore talks about her book 'The Rite of Spring. The Music of Modernity' and then Philip Moore and Hugh Watkins play Stravinsky's 'Le Sacre du printemps', preceded by John Adams' 'Hallelujah Junction', all reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Mastery and Versatility - Giuseppe Pennisi attends three Tokyo Ballet performances in Rome
CD Spotlight. A Timely Resurrection - Music by Kurt Weill, enjoyed by Gerald Fenech. 'Recorded seventeen years ago, this reissue retains its freshness remarkably well, and the performance of both works is delivered with great elegance and elan.'
Ensemble. A Neat Idea - A song recital by James Gaughan and David Hammond, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Jollity Ultimately Triumphs - Orchestral music by Dmitri Kabalevsky, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'I am pleased to see this interesting disc, as it showcases an important composer from the Soviet era.'
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. Joyful Combinations - Patrick Maxwell listens to Britten, McDowall, Horovitz and James Bassi, performed by Janet Lincé and The New Choir
CD Spotlight. His Music Glows - Richard Meszto listens to works by Leonard Bernstein. 'Iain Sutherland leads the Hannover Philharmonic in these fine and well thought out performances.'
Ensemble. San Francisco's Starry Rusalka - James Sohre sends the last of three reports from San Francisco Opera
Ensemble. A Repertory 'Tosca' - Giuseppe Pennisi considers Puccini's opera as a real orchestral masterpiece
Classical music news. Obituary - Franco Zeffirelli (1923-2019)
Classical music news. Obituary - Sven-David Sandström (1942-2019)
Classical music news. Obituary - Ib Nørholm (1931-2019)
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
Pleasingly Eclectic - Mike Wheeler listens to James Curnow, J S Bach, Andrew Downes, Simon Lesley, Randy Newman, Lennon and McCartney, and Irving Berlin from Curzon Brass
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.'
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
Microtonal Trills and Tremolos - Luca Luciano pushes the boundaries of clarinet playing, impressing Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Particularly Thrilling - Music for strings by Alfonso Romero Asenjo intrigues Geoff Pearce. 'It showcases the composer's skill in writing for strings, and at the same time one can sense his development as a composer.'
Ensemble. On the High and Open Sea - Giuseppe Pennisi samples Italy's 2019 Ravenna Summer Festival
Ensemble. From the Poignant to the Zany - Russian-born musicians Yulia Northridge and Ekaterina Shetliffe, heard by Mike Wheeler
Classical music news. Obituary - François-René Tranchefort (c1933-2019)
Ensemble. A Supernatural Glow - Giuseppe Pennisi describes the Fiery Angel that hangs over Rome
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.'
Classical music news. Obituary - Alfred Janson (1937-2019)
Classical music news. Obituary - Étienne Perruchon (1958-2019)
Profile. Bartók: The Inspired Collector - Anett Fodor discusses the Hungarian composer's love of both folk music and nature
Classical music news. Obituary - Arif Melikov (1933-2019)
Classical music news. Obituary - Georg Katzer (1935-2019)
Ensemble. Bravado and Introspection - Mike Wheeler listens to Rachmaninov and Shostakovich from Daniel Kharitonov, Vladimir Ashkenazy and the Philharmonia Orchestra
Ensemble. A Superb Mix of Music and Visuals - 'Snow White' danced to music by Gustav Mahler, experienced by Giuseppe Pennisi
CD Spotlight. A Sense and Taste for the Infinite - Choral music by Rautavaara, Wennäkoski and Livorski impresses Gerald Fenech. 'For those who love contemporary choral singing, this disc should prove a real revelation ...'
Ensemble. Exemplary Clarity - Haydn, Glass and Beethoven from the Marmen Quartet, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. A Rather Peculiar Opera - The new production of 'Ariadne auf Naxos' at La Scala Milan, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
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
Classical music news. Obituary - Heather Harper (1930-2019)
Classical music news. Obituary - Atli Heimir Sveinsson (1938-2019)
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
CD Spotlight. A Compelling Disc - Schoenberg piano music, recommended by Geoff Pearce. 'Yoko Hirota's performances here are truly exceptional ...'
Book review. A Multi-art Extravaganza - Ron Bierman reads Gillian Moore's 'The Rite of Spring, the Music of Modernity'
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
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 ...'
Classical music news. Obituary - Ruth-Margret Pütz (1930-2019)
Classical music news. Obituary - Marilyn Mason (1925-2019)
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
CD Spotlight. Deeply Emotional - Alice McVeigh listens to music by the late John Joubert. 'William Boughton conducts with great sensitivity, and the orchestra excels.'
Ensemble. Roads of Genius - Mike Wheeler listens to Bohuslav Martinů's Fourth Symphony
Ensemble. Aptly Hallucinatory - Janáček's 'Katya Kabanová' from Opera North, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Classical music news. Obituary - Peter Hurford (1930-2019)
Classical music news. Obituary - Heinz Winbeck (1946-2019)
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
CD Spotlight. A Compelling New Reading - Anett Fodor is impressed by Daniel Harding and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra's recent recording of Mahler's Fifth Symphony. 'Daniel Harding awakens and keeps the listener's curiosity captive, demanding thorough attention for his compelling interpretation.'
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
Profile. Genuine Artistic Perspectives - George Colerick discusses the music of Sergei Prokofiev with reference to the Soviet authorities
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 Roman Pietas - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Petrassi and Shostakovich in Rome
Ensemble. All About Collaboration - Music by Steve Reich impresses Mike Wheeler
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!'
Ensemble. Sprightly, Polished and Gleaming - Mike Wheeler listens to Mozart, Malcolm Arnold and Lennox Berkeley from Alec Frank-Gemmill and Sinfonia Viva, conducted by Frank Zielhorst
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
Classical music news. Mahler Education - Joy Lisney conducts a special performance of Mahler's Ninth Symphony
CD Spotlight. Idiomatically Revealing - Oxana Shevchenko plays Stravinsky for solo piano, heard by Roderic Dunnett. '... finely and deftly played.'
CD Spotlight. Dazzling Symphonies - Symphonies by Ruth Gipps, recommended by Roderic Dunnett. 'It conveys as much energy and artistry and expressiveness today as it did the day it was written.'
Classical music news. Towards the Light - Helsinki Chamber Choir's new CD will be released on 1 March 2019
CD Spotlight. Extending the Repertoire - Anett Fodor listens to Hungarian viola player Vidor Nagy. 'The mellifluous sound, the doleful melody, as well as Vidor Nagy's sensitive performance convince the listener that both the artist and instrument are worthy of recognition.'
Ensemble. An Odd Couple? - Kurtág and Brahms in concert, heard by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Extreme Staging - Giuseppe Pennisi reports from Palermo on the opening of Teatro Massimo's 2019 opera season
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. Collective Talent - Mike Wheeler marvels at The National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain
CD Spotlight. A Deep Understanding - John McCabe's 'lost' Australian recording, commended by Geoff Pearce. 'The music is unfamiliar, but interesting, full of surprises and variety, and the fine piano playing is insightful and committed.'
Ensemble. A 'Happy' Tragedy - Leonard Bernstein's 'Trouble in Tahiti' at Rome's Nuova Consonanza Festival, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
CD Spotlight. Superbly Enjoyable - Early chamber music by Peter Dickinson impresses Malcolm Miller. '... a welcome addition to a select repertoire is Dickinson's Four Duos for flute and cello, brightly played here by Rosanna Ter-Berg and Lydia Hillerudh ...'
Ensemble. War and Peace - Giuseppe Pennisi reports from the Sagra Musicale Umbra Festival
CD Spotlight. Divisive and Enigmatic - Piano music by Stravinsky, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Peter Donohoe has always been an ardent admirer of the composer, and these interpretations reveal this sincere attachment.'
Ensemble. Faith and Revolution - Poulenc's 'Dialogues des Carmélites' in Bologna, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
CD Spotlight. Wholly Distinctive - Olga Solovieva plays Herman Galynin, highly recommended by the late Howard Smith. 'How judiciously this pianist measures the weight and mood of each item within her entire programme.'
Ensemble. Intimately Done - Paul Sarcich was at the Echoes Festival's PanAmericana concert, which illustrated the cross-influence between North and South American music
Ensemble. Unjustly Neglected - In this specially extended feature, Armstrong Gibbs' re-discovered 'Passion according to St Luke' impresses Roderic Dunnett
CD Spotlight. Fascinating and Absorbing - Piano music by Heinz Tiessen fascinates Gerald Fenech. 'Matthew Rubinstein is a red-hot advocate of Tiessen's works, and his interpretations brim with a passionate dedication that lays bare the inner gestures of this music.'
Ensemble. Extreme Tensions - Richard Strauss' 'Elektra', back in Naples, impresses Giuseppe Pennisi
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. Consistently Vibrant - Prokofiev's Symphonies Nos 4 and 7, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Andrew Litton and his Bergen ensemble deliver some forceful performances full of exciting vigour ...'
CD Spotlight. A Fantastic Collection - Little-known harpsichord gems, strongly recommended by Alice McVeigh. '... succeeds utterly, as does the immaculately sensitive [Penelope] Cave.'
CD Spotlight. Exceptional Clarity - Masaaki Suzuki conducts Stravinsky, recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... immaculately performed ...'
CD Spotlight. Major Voices - Vocal and choral music by Lennox and Michael Berkeley, recommended by Geoff Pearce. '... thrilling performance.'
CD Spotlight. Timeless Sandscapes - Symphonies by Per Nørgård impress Gerald Fenech. '... superlative performances ...'
CD Spotlight. Highly Rewarding - Piano music by Charles O'Brien, heard by Roderic Dunnett. '... played with great charm and feeling by Warren Mailley-Smith.'
Ensemble. Monumental and Hieratic - Stravinsky's 'Oedipus Rex', recommended by Giuseppe Pennisi
CD Spotlight. Feisty and Wiry - Music by Fernando Lopes-Graça, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Performances are wholly committed ...'
Ensemble. Effective Contrast - Cipriano de Rore and Hubert Parry from the Derwent Singers, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. The Downfall - Richard Strauss' 'Elektra' in Bologna, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
CD Spotlight. A Rare Breed - John McCabe plays his own piano music, reviewed by Anthony Davie. '... an excellent and diverse range of pieces covering three decades ...'
CD Spotlight. Bewildering Delight - Valentina Lisitsa plays Philip Glass, impressing Gerald Fenech. 'A must for all Glass enthusiasts ...'
CD Spotlight. Imaginative Programming - Music for recorder and harpsichord from Denmark and the UK, recommended by Geoff Pearce. '... this partnership works very well musically ...'
CD Spotlight. Astutely Judged - Music for violin and piano by Xavier Montsalvatge, heard by Howard Smith. '... brilliant, clear and individualistic.'
CD Spotlight. Home and Abroad - Piano music by Delius, Bax, Vaughan Williams and Bridge, heard by Howard Smith. 'Commanding resolute performances of music arisen from harrowing conflict.'
CD Spotlight. Atmosphere and Rhythm - Twentieth century Spanish songs, recommended by Ron Bierman. '... beautifully sung with spirited and intelligent accompaniment.'
CD Spotlight. Imaginative and Profound - Olivier Messiaen's 'Turangalîla-Symphonie', heard by Keith Bramich. '... a vibrant, sparkling performance ...'
Ensemble. Vivid and Entertaining - Giuseppe Pennisi attends a Ravel double bill in Rome
Ensemble. Highly Communicative - Murray Gold's first major choral work, heard by Malcolm Miller
CD Spotlight. Temporal Stasis - Olivier Messiaen's 'Vingt Regards', heard by Andrew Schartmann. '... Evan Hirsch ... brings forth the very essence of Messiaen's vision.'
CD Spotlight. Harmonic Daring - Orchestral music by Prokofiev, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'The São Paulo Symphony respond with great sensitivity ...'
Ensemble. Household Rituals - Contemporary and modern music at Aix-en-Provence, heard by Giuseppe Pennisi
Andrew Schartmann's Musical Tidbits - Listening with New Ears. A Listening Strategy for Webern's String Trio
Ensemble. Sophisticated Musical Evenings - The legacy of Giacinto Scelsi twenty-five years on, by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Contemporary Allegory - Paul Ben-Haim's oratorio 'Joram', heard by Malcolm Miller
CD Spotlight. A Mixed Bag - Modern music for wind instruments, heard by Paul Sarcich. '... decent production values.'
Successful and Fulfilling - On the rediscovery of the Italian symphonic tradition, by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Severity and Comedy - Offenbach's 'Tales of Hoffmann', commended by Gregory Moomjy
Ensemble. An Invaluable Experience - 'Ariadne auf Naxos' in New York, appreciated by Gregory Moomjy
DVD Spotlight. Admirable Intentions - Gillian Rogell teaches chamber music, observed by Howard Smith. 'It's all fairly basic stuff ...'
Ensemble. The Quality of Mercy - Giuseppe Pennisi visits the 2011 Aix-en-Provence Festival and reports on four of the six operas
CD Spotlight. A Choral Delight - The Antioch Chamber Ensemble, heard by Patric Standford. '... most valuable.'
Ensemble. Towards a Better World - Daniel Barenboim and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra are currently on a world tour. Giuseppe Pennisi listens to their concert in Rome
Ensemble. When Verdi Slept - 'La Battaglia di Legnano', reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Dramatic Beauty - Works by Eötvös and Bartók, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Christ Re-Crucified - Giuseppe Pennisi was at the Italian première of Bohuslav Martinu's Greek Passion
Ensemble. Extreme Sex - Set in the aftermath of a nuclear war, the first performance of Luca Francesconi's 'Quartett' is reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
CD Spotlight. Positively Spellbinding - Music for clarinet, piano and cello, enjoyed by Howard Smith. '... a fine recording ...'
Ensemble. Surprisingly Believable - Britten's 'The Turn of the Screw' impresses Maria Nockin
Sex and Absolute Power - Handel's 'Giulio Cesare in Egitto', reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Poise and Vitality - Mike Wheeler listens to Lucille Burns and Catherine Milledge
CD Spotlight. A Magnificent Celebration - Three Rodrigo guitar concertos, enjoyed by Robert Anderson. 'Alfonso Moreno is a superb protagonist, technically impeccable ...'
CD Spotlight. Knowledge and Imagination - Lavinia Meijer plays recent music for harp, and impresses Paul Sarcich. '... an exceptional player ...'
CD Spotlight. Deeply Satisfying - Elena Kuschnerova plays J S Bach, selected by Howard Smith. '... decisive and fresh as a dewfall.'
Ensemble. A Wonderful Rendition - Puccini's 'La Fanciulla del West' at the movies impresses Maria Nockin
Ensemble. A High-level Production - 'The Merry Widow', heard by Giuseppe Pennisi
An Interdisciplinary Field - Two contemporary music festivals in Rome, described by Giuseppe Pennisi
Timings - Breaking Moulds: 1910, by Jennifer Paull
Ensemble. Better Late than Never - The BPSE Late Summer Festival, attended by Malcolm Troup
Spokesman for Soviet Society? - Colin Albin discusses Shostakovich and the state
CD Spotlight. A Delightful Spirit - Balkan music for flute and guitar, heard by Howard Smith. '... a near perfect blend of timbre and balance ...'
Ensemble. An Ecstatic Success - Giuseppe Pennisi visits the Sagra Musicale Malatestiana
CD Spotlight. Lightness of Touch - Brahms and Strauss, heard by Patric Standford. '... a very fine performance by Joshua Pierce ...'
Ensemble. Performance to Cherish - Lawrence Budmen submits a further report from the Tanglewood Festival 2010
Ensemble. Dramatic Strength - The 'Glory of God' through three Verdi operas at the Sferisterio Festival 2010, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. A Remarkable Event - Paul Sarcich visits the West Cork Chamber Music Festival
Ensemble. Nearly a Male Lulu - 'Don Giovanni' in Aix-en-Provence, a black comedy of sex and loneliness, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
CD Spotlight. Spellbinding Artistry - Jonathan Plowright plays Chopin, recommended by Howard Smith. '... positively hair-raising.'
Ensemble. Contemporary Resonance - Grange Park Opera's 'Capriccio', enjoyed by Robert Hugill
Ensemble. Seventh Heaven - Christine Brewer and Craig Rutenberg's recital in Los Angeles, reviewed by Maria Nockin
CD Spotlight. Cosmic Distance - Choral music from Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, recommended by George Balcombe. '... such clarity ...'
Ensemble. An Excellent Staging - 'Madama Butterfly' at Rome's Teatro dell'Opera, appreciated by Giuseppe Pennisi
Serious Fun - Lynn Norris looks back at the life of composer, conductor and pianist Aubrey Bowman
CD Spotlight. Thrilling Mastery - Tanja Becker-Bender plays Paganini, reviewed by Howard Smith. '... sparkling clarity and power ...'
Ensemble. A Top-notch Formation - Operas by Zemlinsky and Puccini, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
CD Spotlight. A Must-have - Piano music by Federico Mompou, recommended by Natalie Artemas-Polak. 'Haskell Small's contemplative approach admirably suits these pieces ...'
Ensemble. Seldom Performed - 'Lulu' lands at La Scala, by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. A Successful Production - Sixty Leitmotives for 'Tosca', by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Consummate Skill - 'Hamlet' by Ambroise Thomas, heard by Maria Nockin
Ensemble. Very Welcome - The bicentennial 'Simon Boccanegra' in Parma, appreciated by Giuseppe Pennisi
CD Spotlight. Utmost Clarity - William Appling plays Joplin and Bach, heard by Howard Smith. '... consistently four square, honest, unpretentious ...'
Ensemble. Unusual and Different - Tan Dun's 'The Banquet', reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Shining Beauty - The current Italian season of Mozart's 'Idomeneo', reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. A Perfect Falstaff - Giuseppe Pennisi visits the Vienna State Opera
Ensemble. A True Dynamo - Lawrence Budmen listens to French conductor Ludovic Morlot, in concert with Jennifer Koh and the New World Symphony
Ensemble. Sheer Tension - The first performance of the unabridged 'Elektra' enthralls the audience, related by Giuseppe Pennisi
CD Spotlight. A Flowing Delivery - Bach Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin, heard by Howard Smith. '... vital technical flair ...'
CD Spotlight. Miniaturist Skills - Music by Carey Blyton, heard by Patric Standford. '... a delight for both performer and listener.'
Ensemble. Compelling Vocal Drama - Lawrence Budmen listens to Measha Brueggergosman and the New World Symphony
Ensemble. Crystalline Lightness - A Symphony of the Americas concert, reviewed by Lawrence Budmen
CD Spotlight. Mice in the Manger - A selection of Christmas music, enjoyed by George Balcombe. '... an amazing collection.'
Ensemble. A Sparkling Concert - Sabbath music from the Zemel Choir, enjoyed by Malcolm Miller
Ask Alice - On the perils of programming, with classical music agony aunt Alice McVeigh
CD Spotlight. Highly Challenging - Music for unaccompanied violin, heard by Howard Smith. '... searching performance ...'
CD Spotlight. A Delight - Philippe Quint plays Korngold's Violin Concerto, heard by Patric Standford. '... his emotional command is convincing.'
DVD Spotlight. Intensity and Concentration - Kurt Masur conducts Richard Strauss, reviewed by Kelly Ferjutz. '... beautifully and confidently performed ...'
Ensemble. Brisk Ebullience - Lawrence Budmen sends a second report from this summer's Tanglewood Festival
CD Spotlight. Forever Challenging - Symphonies by Leif Kayser, heard by Patric Standford. '... his ingenious inventiveness continues to impress.'
Ensemble. A Classy Show - Pimlico Opera's 'Rigoletto', reviewed by Robert Hugill
Arts and the Colour of Politics - Béla Hartmann muses on growing social equality and democratization
CD Spotlight. Exquisitely Nuanced - Steve Davislim sings Vierne and Chausson, recommended by Howard Smith. 'I cannot think of higher praise.'
Bizarre Perception - Alistair Hinton discusses a recent article on English music by David Hamilton
Balancing Act - Beethoven in E flat, with Julian Jacobson and friends
Thoughtfulness of Approach - A recital by Australian pianist Jayson Gillham, reviewed by Bill Newman
Ensemble. Clarity of Texture - Lawrence Budmen listens to the Remenyi Ede Chamber Orchestra
CD Spotlight. Simply Dazzling - Piazzolla and Vivaldi's 'Four Seasons', heard by Robert Hugill. '... I rather missed the sound of the bandoneon ...'
Record Box. An Overwhelming Intensity - String Quartets by Szymanowski and Rózycki, appreciated by Gerald Fenech
The Pianist as Elocutionist - Gordon Rumson airs his issues on the art-form as part of a book-length study
Record Box. Unjustly Neglected - Violin concertos by Nikolay Roslavets impress Gerald Fenech
CD Spotlight. Widely Divergent Composers - Music for violin and piano, reviewed by George Balcombe. '... clear and consistent ...'
CD Spotlight. Creative Tensions - A double CD from the Fry Street Quartet, reviewed by Malcolm Tattersall. '... excellent by any standards ...'
Composers and sexuality - Robert Hugill asks what effect sexuality can have on the art of writing music
Provocative thoughts, from Patric Standford - Russophiles
Record box. Clarinet colours - Wilfred Josephs and the clarinet, by Basil Ramsey