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.
The Spanish composer Manuel de Falla was born in Cadiz on 23 November 1876. Like a number of composers he was also a pianist. His music to many people is centred on Nights in the Gardens of Spain, which is a delicious evocation of the title, but sad that arguably greater works than this receive much less attention. Unfinished at his death in Argentina on 14 November 1946 was a monumental cantata Atlántida, subsequently completed by Ernesto Halffter.
Ensemble. A Fascinatingly Piquant Sound-world - Music for saxophone and harp, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Suggestive Interweavings - Twentieth century harpsichord concertos by Falla, Poulenc and Bacarisse, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... a highly enjoyable issue, full of imaginative music ...'
Ensemble. A Sonic Silk Road - Music for guitar, for erhu and for the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, heard by Adam J Sacks
CD Spotlight. An Exquisite Compilation - A selection of popular orchestral music, recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Spiritedly performed and superbly recorded ...'
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.'
Ensemble. Great Emphasis on Detail - Giuseppe Pennisi enjoys streamed performances of a Carmen double bill in Rome
CD Spotlight. Very Colourful - Geoff Pearce recommends music by Manuel de Falla. '... superb performances by all concerned.'
Ensemble. A Brand New 'Carmen' Ballet - Giuseppe Pennisi reports from the opening night at Teatro dell'Opera di Roma
CD Spotlight. Double Meanings? - Seattle-based ensemble Torch, heard by Keith Bramich. '... the music sounds modern, jazzy, light and almost aleatoric-sounding.'
Ensemble. An Effective Combination - Music for viola and harp from Oliver Wass and Luba Tunnicliffe, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. All the Magic of the Original - Piano arrangements played by Jenny Lin, enjoyed by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Fetching Sensitivity - A guitar recital by Sergio Puccini, heard by the late Howard Smith. '... played here to the manner born.'
Ensemble. Wit and Effervescence - Music in the Time of Goya, by Derek Murray
Ensemble. Haunting Effect - Spanish and Catalan music from Maria Camahort and friends, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Needle-sharp Vitality - Opera North's 'La Vida Breve', reviewed by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. An Interesting Programme - Music for guitar and oboe / cor anglais, heard by Howard Smith. 'Zoco Duo's instrumental skills are beyond reproach ...'
CD Spotlight. Appropriate Innocence - Spanish song, familiar and unfamiliar, heard by Paul Sarcich. 'High quality work all round.'
Ensemble. A Runaway Success - Juanjo Mena and the BBC Philharmonic impress Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Tip Top Music - Tine Thing Helseth and Kathryn Stott, heard by Howard Smith. 'Ever full of daring ...'
Ensemble. Plenty to Bite Into - Derby Concert Orchestra celebrates Christmas, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Coruscating Brilliance - Spanish inspirations for two pianists, heard by Robert Anderson. '[A] joyous recital ...'
Ensemble. Vigour and Brilliance - The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra plays Adams, Bernstein, Falla and Gershwin, heard by Mike Wheeler
Subtly Controlled - Spanish pianist Javier Perianes plays Schubert, Chopin, Debussy and Falla, heard by Mike Wheeler
DVD Spotlight. Ho hum! - Vidor Nagy plays Bach and Paganini, reviewed by Howard Smith. '... moments of splendour.'
Ensemble. Vibrant Performance - Two concerts by the Symphony of the Americas, reviewed by Lawrence Budmen
Ensemble. The Real Thing - Spanish music from the Hallé Orchestra, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. A Spectral Atmosphere - Murray McLachlan plays music by Shostakovich and friends, recommended by Howard Smith. '... an outright triumph for the label and for McLachlan.'
CD Spotlight. Consistently Refined - Debussy transcriptions, reviewed by Howard Smith. '... these alternatives are never less than striking ...'
Rare Talent - Young Concert Artists Trust recitals, reviewed by Bill Newman
Ensemble. A Real Barnburner - Another report from this summer's Tanglewood Festival, by Lawrence Budmen
Ensemble. Great Fun - More from Sinfonia Viva's school and college residency project, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
A Pianistic Firecracker - A lunchtime recital by Tali Morgulis, enjoyed by Malcolm Troup
Iberian discovery - Malcolm Miller enjoys a Nancy Lee Harper recital of unfamiliar music
CD Spotlight - Piano exotica - '... marvellously controlled rhythms, touch and stylistic finess.' Martin Jones plays Spanish piano music. With Bill Newman