DISCUSSION: 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.
VIDEO PODCAST: Slava Ukraini! - recorded on 24 February 2022, the day Europe woke up to the news that Vladimir Putin's Russian forces had invaded Ukraine. A fifty minute video which also features Caitríona O'Leary and Eric Fraad discussing their new film Island of Saints, and pays tribute to Joseph Horovitz, Malcolm Troup and Maria Nockin.
To Gabriel Fauré we ascribe a great deal of beautiful music. His style was colourful yet restrained in character. He was born on 12 May 1845 in Pamiers to a busy musical life, which also included organ playing and teaching some of the next generation of French composers. He became director of the Paris Conservatoire in 1905 and retired in 1920, when his deafness forced the issue. He died in Paris on 4 November 1924.
CD Spotlight. Kaleidoscopic Variety - Gerald Fenech listens to music by Charles Koechlin. '... a near uncontrollable energy that almost brings Chaplin and Co back to life again.'
Ensemble. Commemorating Malcolm Goldring - The Sitwell Singers pay tribute to their former conductor, with help from various friends and colleagues, including a new work written for the occasion by Bob Chilcott, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Magical Brilliance - Gerald Fenech listens to orchestral music by Ravel. '... wonderfully detailed accounts that reveal all of Ravel's orchestral finesse and deft harmonic touches.'
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.'
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 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. In the French Tradition - Mike Wheeler listens to Fauré, Lili Boulanger, Abdelmoula and Debussy from Swiss pianist Jean-Sélim Abdelmoula
Ensemble. Extra Vibrancy - Mike Wheeler listens to Tchaikovsky and Fauré from the Sitwell Singers
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.'
CD Spotlight. A Unique Snapshot - French music for Christmas, sung in Oxford by a Cambridge choir, heard by Keith Bramich. '... Christmas music, much of it well-known in Britain, sung in French in various original and unusual versions ...'
In At The Deep End - Michael Haynes' organ recital at Derby Cathedral, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. A Magnificent Project - Wind band music by Percy Grainger impresses Paul Sarcich. '... a band of obviously first-rate musicians, informed conducting from Engeset, and excellent recording ...'
CD Spotlight. Unerring Beauty - Praga Digitals' tribute to Victoria de los Ángeles, heard by Roderic Dunnett. 'De los Ángeles herself is, needless to say, enchanting. The purity, the innocence of the voice, as one can hear here, is simply unique to her.'
Ensemble. Piquancy and Elegance - A recital by Claire Wickes and Tomos Xerri, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Uniquely Peculiar - French music for brass and piano, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Careful attention to the music's slightest details means the interpretive aspect is consistently special and charismatic.'
Ensemble. Zip and Enthusiasm - Members of the Kanneh-Mason family playing at the Belper Arts Festival, heard by Mike Wheeler
Nicely Unusual - Ingrid Jacoby plays Ponce, Fauré, Debussy and Musorgsky, and impresses Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Performance Technique - Cameron Roberts' piano transcriptions, heard by the late Howard Smith. 'The novelty value of this crystal clear recording can hardly be denied.'
Ensemble. Re-writing the Rule Book - Rutter and Fauré Requiems performed by the Armonico Consort, heard by Keith Bramich
Ensemble. Festive Sparkle - A concert to celebrate the ninetieth birthday of composer Joseph Horovitz, reviewed by Malcolm Miller
Ensemble. Warmth and Dignity - Mike Wheeler listens to the Derwent Singers
Ensemble. Off-the-beaten Track - Chamber music from Katherine Jenkinson, Julian Bliss and Alison Farr, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Under Development - Fauré songs for bass, heard by Paul Sarcich. 'Roy Howat's accompaniments are crystal-clear always ...'
Ensemble. Very Special - Christmas music in Rome impresses Giuseppe Pennisi
CD Spotlight. Crossover Soprano - A recital by Rebecca Newman, heard by the late Howard Smith. 'The singer's voice is firm with secure intonation ...'
Ensemble. Sense of Purpose - Schumann and Fauré from The Schubert Ensemble delight Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Contrasting Sonatas - Fauré, Schumann and Bartók from the Jade Duo, heard by Howard Smith. '... high-powered performances ...'
CD Spotlight. Highly Commendable - Kim Cook plays French music for cello and orchestra, heard by Howard Smith. '... a musician to be reckoned with.'
Ensemble. Winning Flexibility - A recital by Agnieszka Kozlowska and Beate Toyka, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
A Luminous Experience - The Derwent Singers perform music by Fauré, Tallis, Byrd, Gabrieli, Eric Whitacre and John Rutter, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Likeable Discs - Music for cello and piano, heard by Howard Smith. '... affectionately presented throughout.'
Ensemble. Beautifully Presented - The Heron Piano Quartet, recommended by Alice McVeigh
Ensemble. Guitar and Cello - Maria Nockin listens to Eliot Fisk and Yehuda Hanani
Ensemble. A Pleasant Surprise - Fauré, Britten and Franck in Cleveland, heard by Suzanne Torrey
Ensemble. Trends and Tendencies - Contemporary music at the Enescu Festival, discussed by Giuseppe Pennisi
CD Spotlight. Velvet Quality - Violin lullabies from Rachel Barton Pine, heard by Howard Smith. '... soporific, inescapable uniformity.'
Ensemble. Restrained Intensity - Mike Wheeler drops in on the City of London Sinfonia's Fauré Requiem tour
CD Spotlight. Infinite Changes - Sally Pinkas plays Fauré, heard by Andrew Schartmann. '... fine interpretations of this underplayed repertoire.'
Fromage Dangereux - French-Canadian pianist Louise Bessette, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Total Rapport - Jonathan Dormand and Marisa Gupta's Fauré, Brahms and Prokofiev impress Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. The Finest of Them All - The 2012 Hereford Three Choirs Festival, reviewed by Roderic Dunnett
Ensemble. Purity of Sound - Richard Strauss, Fauré, Debussy, Poulenc, Wolf and Berg from Christiane Karg and Malcolm Martineau, heard by Bill Newman
Complete Engagement - Mike Wheeler listens to pianist Helen Reid
CD Spotlight. Superb Music - Susanna Phillips sings Debussy, Messiaen and Fauré, heard by George Balcombe. '... Fauré knew how to make music live ...'
CD Spotlight. Beautiful Tone - Music for flute and piano, admired by Ron Bierman. 'The romantic-flute repertoire has never sounded better.'
Ensemble. Luminous Scoring - Jongen, Dukas, Fauré, Respighi and Messiaen from Jonathan Scott, Cristian Mandeal and the Hallé Orchestra, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. To the Glory of God - Giuseppe Pennisi visits the Sagra Musicale Umbra, celebrating old and new continents
Ensemble. Finely Balanced - Mike Wheeler listens to Derby Choral Union
Ensemble. Unmissable Talents - An array of artists at London's Wigmore Hall, reviewed by Bill Newman
A Pleasant Evening - Lisa Friend and Mark Kinkaid in recital, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Full of Delights - Nicola Benedetti and the European Union Chamber Orchestra, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Vocal Colour - Simon Keenlyside sings Schubert, Wolf, Fauré and Ravel, heard by Robert Anderson. '... a wondrous variety ...'
Ensemble. Pilgrimages of the Soul - Giuseppe Pennisi visits Italy's Sagra Musicale Umbra
CD Spotlight. Powerful Beauty - Works by Fauré for Cello and Piano, recommended by George Balcombe. '... a profoundly moving sound ...'
CD Spotlight. Thoughtful Output - Music by Thomas Hewitt Jones, heard by Patric Standford. '... attractive but questionably appropriate ...'
CD Spotlight. Lovely Accounts - Chamber music by Robert Schumann, heard by Howard Smith. '... the performances suffer from a worrying anemia ...'
Nicely Judged - A recital by harpist Anneleen Lenaerts impresses Mike Wheeler
Balancing Act - Beethoven in E flat, with Julian Jacobson and friends
Ensemble. Buoyant and Fresh - André Messager's 'Véronique' delights Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. A Heavenly Blend - Joshua Habermann conducts the Master Chorale of South Florida, reviewed by Lawrence Budmen
Ensemble. Humanity and Generosity - Malcolm Miller attends a memorial concert for David Sonin
Ensemble. A Piquant Contrast - Music by Fauré and Poulenc, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Record Box. Admirable Musicianship - Caroline Clemmow and Anthony Goldstone play Chopin and entertain Robert Anderson
Ensemble. Powerfully Sonorous - Fauré, Bliss, Brahms and Weber played by the Frith Piano Quartet, and reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. A Fascinating Work - The first performance of Gabriel Jackson's Requiem, reviewed by Robert Hugill
CD Spotlight. Poetic Lyricism - Tim Hugh and Olga Sitkovetsky at London's Wigmore Hall, enjoyed by Howard Smith. '... breathtaking musicianship captured my attention ...'
Ensemble. A Real Barnburner - Another report from this summer's Tanglewood Festival, by Lawrence Budmen
CD Spotlight. Eminently Agreeable - Piano music by Ahmet Adnan Saygun, recommended by Howard Smith. '... unfailing rhythmic clarity and beautifully controlled dynamics ...'
Ensemble. Depth and Sonority - The first concert by Malcolm Goldring and the Sitwell Singers, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Lovebirds - Music for two flutes and piano, reviewed by Ron Bierman. 'Recommended, especially for Schickele and the "Dances" of Schocker.'
CD Spotlight. An Interesting Mix - Sacred treasures, enjoyed by Robert Hugill. '... certainly intoxicating.'
Ensemble. Lovingly Shaped - André de Ridder and Sinfonia Viva, enjoyed by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Sparkle and Polish - Robin Zebaida plays piano rarities, enjoyed by Bill Newman. '... musical appeal is immediate.'
Ensemble. A memorable evening - Maurice Hasson's 70th birthday recital with Gabriela Montero was a notable 2005 Wigmore Hall event for Bill Newman
CD Spotlight. A voice to cherish - Dawn Upshaw sings Messiaen, Debussy, Golijov and Fauré, recommended by David Wilkins. '... a great disc!'
CD Spotlight. Interlinking resonances - A song recital by Malena Ernman, reviewed by Robert Hugill. '... lively and charmingly refreshing ...'