Classical music news - January 2021 Obituaries - Our summary of those the classical music world has lost this month
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. Immense Joy - Gerald Fenech listens to Beethoven and Gossec symphonies. 'A first-rate project deserving of the most serious of investigations.'
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. Love, Jealousy and Madness - Music inspired by Ariosto's poem 'Orlando Furioso', heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Filippo Mineccia sings with an exceptional timbre that is sensual and luminous, mixing virtuosity with sensitivity, while Pablo Garcia and his ensemble give sympathetic support with their insightful playing.'
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. Tonal Brilliance - Brahms clarinet chamber music, heard by Patrick Maxwell. '... Brahms' incredible score is done full justice in this recording, which shows the best of the composer's last years and the glories of Romantic chamber music.'
Classical music news - April 2020 Obituaries - Our summary of those the classical music world lost last month
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.'
Classical music news. Stjepan Hauser - The Croatian cellist performs with orchestra at Egypt's Soma Bay in April 2020
Piquant Ensemble. Contrasts - A cello and violin recital by Katherine Jenkinson and Ning Kam, heard by Mike Wheeler
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.'
French Romanticism - George Colerick discusses orchestral music by Berlioz, Saint-Saëns, Delibes, Lalo, d'Indy, Debussy, Ravel, Honegger, Poulenc, Milhaud and others
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. Sex and Power in Pesaro - Giuseppe Pennisi reports on a new production of 'Semiramide' at the Rossini Opera Festival
Profile. Only the Screen - Ona Jarmalavičiūtė talks to the Belgian singer and conductor Tore Tom Denys
Ensemble. Very Sensual - Giuseppe Pennisi steps up to Caetani Castle to listen to madrigals by Gesualdo
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
Classical music news. Obituary - Michael Gielen (1927-2019)
CD Spotlight. Woolly Publicity - The Flemish septet Aranis, heard by the late Howard Smith. 'There's no doubting Aranis' outright professionalism and faultless ensemble; and the fifty-five minute programme has a degree of variety.'
CD Spotlight. Timeless Significance - The Lassus St Matthew Passion, lauded by Gerald Fenech. 'Bo Holten and Musica Ficta give unerring performances, and their immaculate communication of the text added to the purity of the singing certainly contribute immensely to the enjoyment of this rarely heard work.'
CD Spotlight. Fresh and Appealing - The Christmas Story by Heinrich Schütz impresses Gerald Fenech. '... lusciously presented ...'
CD Spotlight. Rapturous Creations - Trio Karénine plays Robert Schumann piano trios, and impresses Gerald Fenech. '... commanding authority, rewarding depth and devil-may-care exuberance ...'
CD Spotlight. Musical Invention - Orchestral music by Ottorino Respighi excites Gerald Fenech. '... passionately performed and sumptuously recorded ...'
DVD Spotlight. An Ancient Character - Rossini's 'Semiramide', reviewed by Howard Smith. '... traditional elements alongside innovative ones.'
DVD Spotlight. Toughest Penance - Franck's 'Stradella', reviewed by Robert Anderson. '... the staging did its best to eliminate the music altogether ...'
Ensemble. Bold and Daring - A new production of Wagner's 'Parsifal', reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Trends and Tendencies - Contemporary music at the Enescu Festival, discussed by Giuseppe Pennisi
CD Spotlight. Brightly Scored - Orchestral music by Jan van der Roost, heard by Paul Sarcich. '... colourful and indeed striking ...'
CD Spotlight. Interpretative Compass - Jennifer Koh plays Bach and more, heard by Howard Smith. '... divine, finely-spun tone ...'
DVD Spotlight. Love's Ravages - Cavalli's 'Il Giasone', reviewed by Robert Anderson. '... the sense of fun detracts somewhat from the high drama ...'
Ensemble. Luminous Scoring - Jongen, Dukas, Fauré, Respighi and Messiaen from Jonathan Scott, Cristian Mandeal and the Hallé Orchestra, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Imitative Textures - Choral music by Giaches de Wert, heard by Robert Anderson. 'The singing is of the standard King's College effortlessly produces.'
Ensemble. Truly Beautiful - Gounod's 'Faust' at San Diego Opera delights Maria Nockin
CD Spotlight. Great Fluency - Music by Pierre Moulu, heard by George Balcombe. '... magically moving individual lines and harmonies.'
CD Spotlight. Well Worth Exploration - Orchestral music by Lodewijk Mortelmans, heard by Robert Anderson. 'The performances ... are a delight ...'
CD Spotlight. Clearly Etched - Violin concerti by Vieuxtemps, heard by Stephen Francis Vasta. '... crisp ensemble and warm, full tone ...'
CD Spotlight. Glowing Performances - Music by Koechlin and Jongen, recommended by Howard Smith. '... a truly outstanding recital ...'
CD Spotlight. Indeed Eternal - 'Symphonie fantastique' and 'Le Carnaval romain', enjoyed by Robert Anderson. '... much to admire ...'
Ensemble. The Quality of the Cooks - Verdi comic operas on stage, tasted by Giuseppe Pennisi
CD Spotlight. Highly Challenging - Music for unaccompanied violin, heard by Howard Smith. '... searching performance ...'
Ensemble. Strong Performances - Handel's 'Susanna' from Les Arts Florissants, assessed by Robert Hugill
Nicely Judged - A recital by harpist Anneleen Lenaerts impresses Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Very Powerful - Orchestral music by Vytautas Bacevicius, reviewed by Gordon Rumson. 'He had much to say and said it very well.'
Ensemble. Expert Playing - Music for voices and brass, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Record Box. Great Beauty - Music by Guillaume Dufay impresses Gerald Fenech
CD Spotlight. Get Up and Dance - Elizabethan street songs, heard by Maria Nockin. '... plain good listening ...'
Ensemble. Highly Charged - A recital by Daniel Kuzmin and Alberto Portugheis, reviewed by Malcolm Miller
CD Spotlight. An Orchestral Conception - Bach church cantatas, heard by Robert Anderson. '... robust and sensitive as required ...'
Assuming the Helm - Roderic Dunnett reports on two new appointments at the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels
Grand Scale - Mike Wheeler attends summer organ recitals by Tom Corfield and Johan Hermans
Ensemble. Emotional Degradation - Music Theatre Wales presents Philippe Boesmans' 'Julie', reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Silvery Tone - A recital by Serena Leader and Gordon Back, reviewed by Malcolm Miller
CD Spotlight. Without Carols - Renaissance music for Christmas, reviewed by Malcolm Tattersall. '... endless web of glorious sound recorded sound ...'
CD Spotlight. Cuts and Dissolves - Music by Turnage, Rihm and Benjamin, reviewed by Carson Cooman. '... a well-planned listening experience ...'
CD Spotlight. Tonal beauty - The first recording of Vivaldi's 'Bajazet', appreciated by Maria Nockin. '... absolutely stunning.'
Record box. A rare treat - Jean Guillou plays the complete organ works of César Franck, reviewed by Tess Crebbin
CD Spotlight. Pointing the way - A chamber-music quality 'Nutcracker', with Ron Bierman. '... closer to what Tchaikovsky had in mind.'
Record box. Skewering demons - Concert works by film composers, played by the New Art Trio and reviewed by Keith Bramich
Record box. Buried masterpiece? - Roderic Dunnett is bowled over by Gossec's Requiem
A tough task - Keith Bramich ponders on the art of the conductor, and attends the 2002 Donatella Flick Conducting Competition
CD Spotlight. Uneasy agitation - The music of César Franck, reviewed by Robert Anderson. 'Thiollier is capable of the loveliest sonorities from the outset ...'
Record box. Cyclic dream - Keith Bramich listens to another disc from crossover group Univers Zero
Site seeing - Ludwig's torso ... another visit to the world of music websites, with Keith Bramich
Record box - Crawling wind. Keith Bramich listens to a rare 1970s hybrid.
Reminiscent retrospectives - Musical language, with Jennifer Paull
Ensemble - In memory. Keith Bramich reports on a McCabe première, given as part of Japan 2001
Dame Moura Lympany - A personal tribute by Bill Newman (concluded from last week)
Record box - Gentle pleasure. Dallying with Grétry, with Basil Ramsey
Record box - Young music. Early quartets by Arriaga, with Basil Ramsey
Summer Opera Reviews - Roderic Dunnett looks back at a thumping good summer for opera festivals in Britain and Ireland. Part 4 - Mr Emmet Takes a Walk
The lost chord - Newly furbished as a recital instrument, London's Royal Festival Hall organ was re-launched on 19 October. Shirley Ratcliffe was there and was in for a surprise.
Planning your collection - Koechlin -