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. After the End of the Reign of Terror - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to 'La fille de Madame Angot' by Charles Lecocq. '... not only a musicological revival but also nearly two hours of very enjoyable listening.'
CD Spotlight. Orientalism in Paris - 'La Princesse Jaune', reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi. '... an excellent vehicle for discovering a little known facet of Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns.'
CD Spotlight. Many Hidden Nuances - Monteverdi organ works, reviewed by Gerald Fenech. 'Kriju Koetsveld is a keen advocate of this repertoire ...'
Ensemble. Change of Perspective - Mike Wheeler reviews Sinfonia Viva's streamed performance from Chatsworth House in Derbyshire, UK
CD Spotlight. A Philological Discovery - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to a Naxos boxed set of Monteverdi madrigals. 'I think it was successful and is worth listening to by those accustomed to different ways of performing Monteverdi.'
CD Spotlight. Ready for a Revival - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to 'Phèdre' - a rare opera by Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne. 'The distinct feature of Lemoyne's opera is the weight and importance given to the protagonist. The role is sung by the Dutch soprano Judith van Wanroij: it fits her perfectly as can be felt in her initial major arias, with chorus as well as with other members of the cast.'
CD Spotlight. A Multifaceted Intellectual - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Saint-Saëns' opéra fantastique 'Le timbre d'argent'. 'From the very start of the overture, the listener feels that this is a brisk and expert ensemble.'
A Double Career - Giuseppe Pennisi describes his life as an economist in the world of music
CD Spotlight. A Precious Recording - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Offenbach's 'Maître Péronilla'. '... this is a book and two CDs to enjoy and to make an elegant gift.'
CD Spotlight. Gounod's First Faust of 1859 - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Christophe Rousset's new recording from Bru Zane. 'Everything is lighter, softer, more sensual.'
Light and Shade - George Colerick writes about idealised beauty alongside the grotesque in the 1951 film 'The Tales of Hoffmann'
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 ...'
Ensemble. Almost a World Premiere - Gaspare Spontini's 'Le metamorfosi di Pasquale', heard by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. A Whirlwind of Slapstick - French Carnival Operettas in Venice, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Back in Rome - Giordano's 'Andrea Chénier' returns to the Teatro dell'Opera after more than forty years, impressing Giuseppe Pennisi
CD Spotlight. Innate Musicality - The Eight Seasons of Vivaldi and Piazzolla, recommended by Giuseppe Pennisi. '... Yury Revich is a superb soloist, a real virtuoso with tremendous imagination and a splendid use of his instrument.'
CD Spotlight. Celebrity Bass - Music for strings by Domenico Dragonetti, heard by the late Howard Smith. 'John Feeney reveals double bass capabilities required of a symphony orchestra's lowest strings once in a blue moon.'
CD Spotlight. Public Taste - Madrigals from Monteverdi's Venice period, highly recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Paul Agnew and his famous choristers give highly exciting performances, with every poetic nuance exploited to maximum musical effect.'
Ensemble. Tannhäuser in the Dark - Giuseppe Pennisi visits Venice, one of Richard Wagner's favourite cities
Ensemble. Flooding Venice - Giuseppe Pennisi reviews the first performance of Filippo Perocco's opera 'Aquagranda'
Ensemble. An African 'Norma' - Giuseppe Pennisi compares La Fenice's Bellini revival with an earlier production in Naples
Ensemble. A Captivating Evening - Vivaldi's 'La Sena Festeggiante', reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Carnival in Venice - Giuseppe Pennisi reviews Hervé's 'Les Chevaliers de la Table Ronde'
Ensemble. Luxuriant Orchestration - Mozart's 'Idomeneo', heard by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. A Wealthy Maverick - Music by the French composer George Onslow, heard by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. A Real Joy - 'Le Ventre de Paris', praised by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. True Passion - 'Traviata' on the lagoon, by Giuseppe Pennisi
CD Spotlight. Imaginative Programming - Zenia Löffler's Venetian concerti impress Geoff Pearce. 'This disc will not fail to please ...'
Ensemble. Back in the Lagoon - Giuseppe Pennisi visits La Fenice for Verdi's 'Simon Boccanegra'
Ensemble. Perfect Settings - New Year in Italy, by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Feminism and Anti-colonialism - Meyerbeer's L'Africaine, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Youthful Compoaers - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to contemporary music at two Italian festivals
The Life of Antonio Vivaldi - Susan Budig's short poem about Venice's 'Red Priest', composed in the form of a classical rondeau
Ensemble. A Real Thriller - Makropoulos in the Lagoon, with Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Cosmic Pessimism - Verdi's rarely performed 'I Due Foscari', experienced by Giuseppe Pennisi
CD Spotlight. Fine Judgment - Wolf-Ferrari wind concertinos, heard by Robert Anderson. '... soloist and orchestra tease each other in mutual delight.'
Fun-and-games Time - Mike Wheeler listens to Venetian pianist Alessandro Taverna
CD Spotlight. Sheer Conviction - Handel's 'Agrippina', heard by Robert Anderson. '... Handel's music survives gloriously, with singers and orchestra at top voltage.'
Great Things to Come - Malcolm Troup listens to a recital by the all-conquering but still largely unsung pianist Gloria Campaner
DVD Spotlight. Seldom Equalled - Michelangeli plays Beethoven, Galuppi and Scarlatti, and impresses Howard Smith. 'His relentless perfectionism allows him spellbinding precision ...'
CD Spotlight. Keyboard Diablerie - Beethoven Sonatas and Symphonies, heard by Robert Anderson. '... stunning performance ...'
Ensemble. Achingly Beautiful - Vivaldi's 'La verità in cimento' at Garsington Opera, reviewed by Roderic Dunnett
Ensemble. Intense Confrontation - Verdi's 'Ernani' - more revolutionary than patriotic, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Surprisingly Believable - Britten's 'The Turn of the Screw' impresses Maria Nockin
Ensemble. A Real Triumph - The first Milan performance of Britten's 'Death in Venice' impresses Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Stunning Musical Performance - Donizetti's 'Lucrezia Borgia', reviewed by Robert Hugill
Ensemble. Drama and Comedy - British humour under the Neapolitan sun, in 'L'Elisir d'Amore' in Rome and San Francisco, by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Opulent and Effective - Puccini's 'Turandot' in Arizona, enjoyed by Maria Nockin
CD Spotlight. Quite Breathtaking - David Korevaar plays Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier, admired by Howard Smith. '... lots to admire ...'
CD Spotlight. Expressive Power - Vivaldi oboe concertos, heard by Robert Anderson. '... faultlessly delivered ...'
Ensemble. A Wonderful Surprise - Los Angeles Opera's 'Rigoletto', enjoyed by Maria Nockin
Ensemble. Superb Pianism - A London recital by Julian Jacobson, heard by Robert Anderson
Ensemble. A Real Surprise - Celso Albelo hits Venice as Nemorino in Donizetti's 'L'Elisir d'Amore', by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. An Icy Reception - Giuseppe Pennisi describes the 2010 Parma Verdi Festival's stormy beginning
CD Spotlight. Vocal Colour - Simon Keenlyside sings Schubert, Wolf, Fauré and Ravel, heard by Robert Anderson. '... a wondrous variety ...'
DVD Spotlight. A Fascinating Hotchpotch - The story of 'La Traviata', reviewed by Robert Anderson. '... fun for the experienced observer ...'
Ensemble. Darkness to Light - Giuseppe Pennisi visits the Ravenna Festival
Ensemble. High Expectations - Barenboim's 'Das Rheingold' at La Scala, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. A Masterly Performance - Massenet's 'Werther' on the psychotherapist's couch, by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Major Delights - 'La traviata' from San Diego Opera, reviewed by Maria Nockin
Ensemble. Seething with Evil - Franz Schreker's 'Die Gezeichneten', reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Very Welcome - The bicentennial 'Simon Boccanegra' in Parma, appreciated by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. The Devil and the Bourgeoisie - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Arrigo Boito's 'Mefistofele'
CD Spotlight. Chicago Baroque - Trio Settecento's A German Bouquet, recommended by Malcolm Tattersall. '... very fine performances of some rarely heard but attractive music ...'
Ensemble. Close to Perfection - Verdi's 'Simon Boccanegra' broadcast from New York Metropolitan Opera, by Maria Nockin
CD Spotlight. Nearly Unknown - Bologna's Renaissance music, heard by Giuseppe Pennisi. '... an efficient and effective local ensemble ...'
CD Spotlight. Beauty of Timbre - Vivica Genaux sings Vivaldi, heard by Maria Nockin. 'Genaux's diction is excellent ...'
Ensemble. A New Dimension - Giuseppe Pennisi reports that chamber opera is alive and well
CD Spotlight. Splendidly Performed - Baroque music for cello, recommended by Howard Smith. 'An exemplary CD ...'
Ensemble. A Fine Rendition - 'Così fan tutte' at Arizona Opera, reviewed by Maria Nockin
CD Spotlight. Intense Expressiveness - Music from Venice, reviewed by George Balcombe. '... an amazing display of eighteen short pieces ...'
CD Spotlight. Exquisitely Nuanced - Steve Davislim sings Vierne and Chausson, recommended by Howard Smith. 'I cannot think of higher praise.'
Ensemble. Brilliant Opportunities - A Rossini double bill, reviewed by Robert Hugill
Lively Characterisation - An organ recital by Ian Tracey, heard by Mike Wheeler
A Dexterous Journey - Alessandro Taverna at London's Steinway Hall, reviewed by Bill Newman
CD Spotlight. Deceptive Naturalness - Red Priest's 'Nightmare in Venice', entertains Howard Smith. '... irrepressible, chic ...'
Ensemble. Humanity and Generosity - Malcolm Miller attends a memorial concert for David Sonin
Record Box. Playful Scope - Marc-André Hamelin's Chopin delights Robert Anderson
Record Box. Almost Supersonic - Vivaldi recorder concertos, enjoyed by Robert Anderson
Ensemble. Vibrant Life - Verdi's 'Rigoletto' at Arizona Opera, reviewed by Maria Nockin
CD Spotlight. Stylistic Eloquence - Italian arias and madrigals, recommended by Maria Nockin. '... performed with accuracy and grace.'
CD Spotlight. An Unexpected Pleasure - Wind Concertos by Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari, enjoyed by Ron Bierman. 'Strongly recommended ...'
Artful Phrasing - 'La bohème' at Los Angeles Opera, reviewed by Maria Nockin
Ensemble. A Full-Blooded Rendition - 'La Traviata' from Southern California, reviewed by Susan Hampton
Ensemble. Remarkably Attractive - A rare London concert by Schola Pietatis Antonio Vivaldi, reviewed by Robert Hugill
Record box. Impressive Refinement - Handel Italian cantatas performed by Arcadia, and reviewed by Patric Standford
Ensemble. Expansively Romantic - Teatro Lirico d'Europa's 'La Traviata', reviewed by Maria Nockin
The Mighty Venetian - Tess Crebbin talks to Charles Beare about the master instrument maker Domenico Montagnana
CD Spotlight. Great charm - Venetian lute music, reviewed by Peter Howell. '... sensitive playing on a good instrument in real acoustics ...'
DVD Spotlight. Idiomatic performance - Monteverdi's 'L'incoronazione di Poppaea', reviewed by Robert Anderson. '... highly gifted soloists ...'
Profile. Honest work - Maria Nockin talks to American mezzo-soprano Vivica Genaux about her life and career
CD Spotlight. Vital inspiration - Music by Heinrich Schütz, reviewed by Robert Anderson. '... expressively at one with the music.'
CD Spotlight. Emotional immediacy - Music by Andrea Gabrieli, recommended by Robert Hugill. '... His Majestys Sagbutts and Cornetts play stunningly ...'
The Monteverdi allure - On the 360th anniversary of the death of Claudio Monteverdi, Rajgopal Nidamboor pays tribute to the first great composer of opera
CD Spotlight. Constantly thrilling - Frederic Chiu plays Liszt, and Robert Anderson listens. '... magical sonorities and supersonic speeds ...'