VIDEO PODCAST: John Dante Prevedini leads a discussion about Youth Involvement in Classical Music - this specially extended illustrated feature includes contributions from Christopher Morley, Gerald Fenech, Halida Dinova, Patricia Spencer and Roderic Dunnett.
SPONSORED: Ensemble. A Great Start - Freddie Meyers' new opera A Sketch of Slow Time impresses Alice McVeigh.
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BR Klassik is a Munich-based public radio station and classical record label owned and operated by Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR, Bavarian Radio) in Germany. The radio station has been broadcasting since 4 October 1980.
Further information: br-klassik.de
CD Spotlight. A Transcendental Experience - Gerald Fenech is impressed by this Mahler symphony cycle from Mariss Jansons and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. 'It is absolutely mystifying how this kind of music-making is humanly possible.'
CD Spotlight. Fascinating Listening - Music by Wolfgang Rihm, recommended for those who enjoy the challenges of listening to contemporary music, by Geoff Pearce. 'The performers here really excel and do this music justice.'
CD Spotlight. Hugely Educational - Christiane Karg's new album, heard by Keith Bramich. '... great clarity and precision in Christiane Karg's voice and sensitive support from Gerold Huber ...'
CD Spotlight. Music to Unite People - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to music by Arvo Pärt. '... an excellent selection ...'
CD Spotlight. Teenage Years - Mendelssohn's String Symphonies, recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Performances are energetic and inspiring throughout, with a touch of crispness consistently at the centre of things.'
CD Spotlight. A Polynesian Idyll - The first recording of Reynaldo Hahn's opera 'L'île du rêve', heard by Giuseppe Pennisi. '... singers, orchestra and chorus are top notch.'
CD Spotlight. Mystical Eastern Chants - Gerald Fenech is impressed by Igor Kuljerić's Croatian Glagolitic Requiem. 'An enticing discovery that has all the hallmarks to command serious investigation from all music lovers across the board. Sound and presentation are first-rate.'
CD Spotlight. Resplendent Sound - Stephen Francis Vasta has mixed feelings about Mariss Jansons' 2008 recording of Bruckner's 'Romantic' Symphony. 'I enjoyed the focus and resonance of the bass strings, providing a solid support for the full orchestra; the lovely clarity of the woodwind principals - the bright, forward oboes and clarinets suggest the organ's reed stops - and the brass choir's full-bodied depth.'
CD Spotlight. Fierce Criticism - Gerald Fenech listens to orchestral music by Rodion Shchedrin and Ottorino Respighi. '... a fitting tribute to Mariss Jansons ...'
CD Spotlight. An Impressive Undertaking - Simon Rattle conducts Wagner's 'Die Walküre', heard by Giuseppe Pennisi. 'The singing and the orchestra raise this performance above the ordinary.'
CD Spotlight. Thus Conducted Mariss Jansons - Ona Jarmalavičiūtė discovers a unique listening experience on one of the Latvian conductor's last recordings, featuring Daniil Trifonov and the music of Richard Strauss. '... this maverick CD contains contrasting faces of Richard Strauss, Trifonov's virtuoso skills and one of the last memories of Mariss Jansons' conducting.'
CD Spotlight. Undoubtedly Colourful - Music by Poulenc and Koechlin, heard by Paul Sarcich. 'Odradek and the Bambergers have produced clean, well-balanced recordings and treated both composers with great sensitivity. The orchestral playing is first rate.'
CD Spotlight. A Dynamic Vitality - Music for organ and orchestra by Saint-Saëns and Poulenc, recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'A hugely enjoyable album, well worth hearing ...'
CD Spotlight. Eschatological Truth - Gerald Fenech is inspired by Josef Suk's 'Asrael' Symphony. '... Jakob Hrůša gives a compelling rendition that is intense, profound and consistently electrifying.'
CD Spotlight. Emotional Gravitas - Gerald Fenech recommends this recording of the 1876 version of Dvořák's Stabat Mater. '... this latest undertaking has excellence written all over it.'
CD Spotlight. Vintage Rossini - A Munich recording of the early opera 'Sigismondo', heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Keri Lynn Wilson paces the work with an uncanny tempo that strikes an ideal balance between the psychological and musical aspects of the opera, and her conducting is consistently sensitive to the nuanced phrasing and textures of the score.'
CD Spotlight. Truly Sublime - Mariss Janssons conducts Bruckner's Symphony No 9, recommended by Geoff Pearce. 'The precision, attention to detail, warmth and depth of sound really set this recording apart from the pack.'
CD Spotlight. Very Satisfying - Sibelius from Munich, heard by Geoff Pearce. '... the orchestra responds superbly to Jansons.'
CD Spotlight. Musical Assets - Orchestral music by Richard Strauss, heard by Stephen Francis Vasta. '... sensitivity and tenderness ...'
CD Spotlight. Shining Through - The classical inheritance of Schubert's Symphonies impresses Andrew Schartmann. '... a fascinating perspective ...'
CD Spotlight. Striking Effect - Stephen Sondheim's 'Sweeney Todd', heard by Howard Smith. 'A "killer diller" on all counts.'
DVD Spotlight. Innovative Colours - J S Bach's Christmas Oratorio, reviewed by Howard Smith. '... musically reliable ...'