RECENT: Find out about composers from unusual places, including Gerard Schurmann, Giya Kancheli, Nazib Zhiganov and Nodar Gabunia, about singing in cars, and meet Jim Hutton from the RLPO and some of our regular contributors in this eighty-minute February 2021 video.
RECENT: Defining Our Field - what is 'classical music' to us, why are we involved and what can we learn from our differences? Read John Dante Prevedini's essay, watch the panel discussion and make your own comments.
Classical music news. Obituary - Christa Ludwig (1928-2021)
Classical music news. The Schoenberg Effect - The Berlin-based Notos Quartett's second album, devoted to Brahms, will be released on Sony Classical this month
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. Triumphant Optimism - Lucas Ball compares two Beethoven choral works on a new recording from harmonia mundi. 'I love what the chorus does here ...'
CD Spotlight. Somewhat Disturbing - Thought-provoking music by Naomi Pinnock, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'The performances and attention to detail were impressive, which added to my enjoyment and comprehension of the music.'
Classical music news - March 2020 Obituaries - Our summary of those the classical music world lost last month
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.'
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.'
Classical music news. Stjepan Hauser - The Croatian cellist performs with orchestra at Egypt's Soma Bay in April 2020
Ensemble. Contemporary Premieres - Giuseppe Pennisi experiences three new operas in Rome
Profile. A Silver Age - George Colerick writes about Franz Lehár, probably the greatest twentieth century composer of operettas
CD Spotlight. Hard to Resist - Johann Strauss Junior's 'Eine Nacht in Venedig', arranged by Erich Wolfgang Korngold and heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Marius Burkert and his fine team of soloists and chorus exude a performance that has subtlety and charm, and the vivid freshness of Korngold's arrangement is brought out with a wistful elan ...'
CD Spotlight. A Quintessentially French Bestiary - French songs by various composers, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Ducks, peacocks, pigs, butterflies, dromedaries, carp, cicadas and owls are just some of the creatures in the menagerie assembled for this recording.'
Ensemble. A Magical Zauberflöte - Giuseppe Pennisi was at the opening of Teatro dell'Opera di Roma's autumn season
CD Spotlight. Addiction to Poetry - Debussy songs, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Two joyful hours from four of the most passionate advocates for Debussy you can find at present.'
CD Spotlight. Absolutely unmissable - Prokofiev's 'Ivan the Terrible', recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... a blockbuster of an issue which should delight both film score collectors and Prokofiev admirers in equal measure.'
Ensemble. The Triumph of Music - The first performance of Salvatore Sciarrino's 'Ti vedo, ti sento, mi perdo', reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
CD Spotlight. Telling Clarity - Telemann concertos impress Gerald Fenech. '... in the Berliners' hands Telemann's music sounds even more trailblazing than maybe the composer intended.'
Ensemble. Civil Engagement - Giuseppe Pennisi discusses operas representing intrigues which couldn't be discussed in public
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.'
CD Spotlight. Gorgeously Irresistible - Piano quintets by Granados and Turina, strongly recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... an almost instinctive sense of interplay between the players ...'
CD Spotlight. Charmingly Infectious - Handel's Water Music, enjoyed by Gerald Fenech. 'The Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin plays with an undisguised love for the music ...'
CD Spotlight. Masterful Throughout - Felix Weingartner's 'Die Dorfschule', recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... great attention to detail ...'
Ensemble. A Painterly Production - Alban Berg's 'Lulu', live in high definition from Metropolitan Opera, impresses Maria Nockin
CD Spotlight. Amongst the Best - Schumann and Strauss from Grimaud and Zinman, recommended by Geoff Pearce. '... a marvelous disc to add to your collection ...'
CD Spotlight. Great Authenticity - Stravinsky, Rimsky-Korsakov and Ravel for piano duet, recommended by Howard Smith. '... these performances will fulfill the highest technical expectations.'
CD Spotlight. First Rate - Harp music from early baroque Naples, recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Margret Köll's performances have an ethereal aura ...'
Profile. Love Comes Stealing In - George Colerick remembers Wolfgang Ostberg (1939-2011)
CD Spotlight. Very Refreshing - Vocalensemble Lalá, heard by Geoff Pearce. '... always musical and beautifully under control.'
CD Spotlight. A Glorious Time - C P E Bach's Magnificat, heard by Robert Anderson. 'Soloists, choir and orchestra under Hans-Christoph Rademann ... infectiously impart their delight in the music ...'
Ensemble. Truly Memorable - Power, technology and sex in Rimsky Korsakov's 'The Tsar's Bride', reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Alive and Well - Comic operas in Berlin, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Film Noir - 'The Magic Flute' from Berlin's Komische Oper, reviewed by Maria Nockin
DVD Spotlight. Balm to the Soul - Anton Bruckner's Symphony No 7, savoured by Robert Anderson. 'Celibidache is in no hurry ...'
CD Spotlight. Gloriously Provocative - Bernstein's Mass, heard by Robert Anderson. '... the scandal and much of the fun is in the "tropes".'
Ensemble. Marxist Opera - Giuseppe Pennisi was in Berlin for the opening night of a revival of 'The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny'
CD Spotlight. Outside the Box - A recital by Gunnar Johansen, heard by Howard Smith. '... a floodtide of seismic power and romantic fervor ...'
Ensemble. Uncurbed Impulses - Bizet's 'Carmen' at San Diego Opera, appreciated by Maria Nockin
CD Spotlight. Positively Spellbinding - Music for clarinet, piano and cello, enjoyed by Howard Smith. '... a fine recording ...'
Ensemble. Too Clever by Half - A very British version of Mozart's 'Die Entführung aus dem Serail' returns to Rome, experienced by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. An Impressive Achievement - Berlioz's 'The Trojans' at Berlin's Deutsche Oper, assessed by Robert Hugill
Absolutely Outstanding - Kotaro Fukuma's performances of Schumann, Chopin and Liszt amaze Bill Newman
Ensemble. For King, Country and Sex - Marco Tutino's 'Senso', experienced by Giuseppe Pennisi
CD Spotlight. Quite Breathtaking - David Korevaar plays Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier, admired by Howard Smith. '... lots to admire ...'
Ensemble. Cultural Delights - Gerald Fenech visits Slovenia for Festival Maribor
Ensemble. A Memorable Night - The Israel Camerata Orchestra Jerusalem, heard by Giuseppe Pennisi
CD Spotlight. A Brave Show - Choral music by Sibelius, heard by Robert Anderson. '... much here to surprise and fascinate ...'
CD Spotlight. Beautifully Managed - Music for flute and guitar, heard by Howard Smith. '... reflective and purposeful ...'
CD Spotlight. Glowing Performances - Music by Koechlin and Jongen, recommended by Howard Smith. '... a truly outstanding recital ...'
Ensemble. Opera in the Arena - Rebecca Schmid listens to Renée Fleming and the Berlin Philharmonic
Ensemble. High Expectations - Barenboim's 'Das Rheingold' at La Scala, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. A Cross Section - Bill Newman comments on some recent concerts at London's Wigmore Hall
Ensemble. A Fascinating Afternoon - Mozart's 'Die Entführung aus dem Serail' live from Barcelona, enjoyed by Maria Nockin in Arizona
Ensemble. Maximum Interest - A double bill from Los Angeles Opera impresses Maria Nockin
Ensemble. Seething with Evil - Franz Schreker's 'Die Gezeichneten', reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
CD Spotlight. Fifty Years - Celebrating Lyrita's recordings of British music, by George Balcombe. '... a meticulous reproduction of orchestral sound ...'
CD Spotlight. A Flowing Delivery - Bach Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin, heard by Howard Smith. '... vital technical flair ...'
CD Spotlight. Transcendent Resignation - Mahler's Ninth Symphony, heard by David Wilkins. '... played with love and knowledge and commitment ...'
CD Spotlight. A Forthright Approach - J S Bach's St Matthew Passion, recommended by Howard Smith. '... the Ex Cathedra performance is a triumph.'
CD Spotlight. Sterling Playing - Wendy Warner's interpretations of Popper and Piatigorsky, heard by Howard Smith. '... sovereign music-making deserving of the highest accolades.'
Ensemble. Life-enhancing - Mike Wheeler listens to the Atrium Quartet
CD Spotlight. Deft and Brilliant - Sibelius orchestral music, recommended by Robert Anderson. '... in the safest of hands.'
CD Spotlight. Diversely Experienced - Music for bassoon, harpsichord and double bass, impresses Howard Smith. '... an outright "tour de force".'
Ensemble. Refreshing Surprises - A concert in London by the Zemel Choir, enjoyed by Malcolm Miller
CD Spotlight. Consistently Solid - Kurt Masur and others conduct Mendelssohn, reviewed by Howard Smith. '... too often short on graciousness, charm or buoyancy.'
The Composer's Conundrum - Gordon Rumson has some bad news about creativity and self-promotion
Ensemble. Meltingly Beautiful - Joshua Bell joins Vladimir Ashkenazy and the New World Symphony for music by Saint-Saëns and Mahler, reviewed by Lawrence Budmen
CD Spotlight. A Broader Canvas - Chamber music by Sibelius, enjoyed by Robert Anderson. '... fresh and unfamiliar music, put across with such conviction ...'
CD Spotlight. Truly Invigorating - Opera fantasies for violin, reviewed by Howard Smith. '... engaging musical finesse.'
Ensemble. Lustrous Sounds - Kurt Weill's 'The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny', reviewed by Maria Nockin
Ensemble. New Meanings? - An evening of subtle brutality, by Karen Haid
Ensemble. Musical Paradise - The Artemis Quartet shines at Urbana's Krannert Center, reviewed by Sonja Stojanovic
Ensemble. Dramatic Punch - Richard Strauss's 'Salomé', reviewed by Maria Nockin
Profile. The Hungarian Nightingale - A meeting with Gisela Doráti, better known as 'Gizi', by Bill Newman
CD Spotlight. Mightily dramatic - Georg Katzer's 'Medea in Korinth', appreciated by Patric Standford. '... vivid and clear spontaneity ...'
CD Spotlight. Robust charm - Boccherini symphonies reviewed by Robert Anderson. '... maximum virtuosity and élan.'
Profile - music all the time. Bill Newman becomes reacquainted with young French cellist Gautier Capuçon
Berlin Festival Diary - Five weeks condensed into three, with Bill Newman (concluded from last week)
Berlin Festival Diary - Five weeks condensed into three, with Bill Newman (continued from last week)
Berlin Festival Diary - Five weeks condensed into three, with Bill Newman, including 'Light shining through' - an interview with Yaara Tal
Record Box - Cellos rule - the Berlin team in action, with Basil Ramsey