Classical music news. Gramercy Brass - A high profile brass group based in New York, the Gramercy Brass Orchestra, celebrates its fortieth anniversary and the ninetieth birthday of film composer John Williams
CD Spotlight. Imaginative and Different - A variety of Christmas music from Navona Records, heard by Keith Bramich. '... played superbly.'
Ensemble. A Call from On High - Mike Wheeler listens to the Sinfonia Viva Brass Quintet
CD Spotlight. Fresh and Imaginative - Gerald Fenech is impressed by John Rutter's sacred music, arranged by Luc Vertommen for brass band. 'Stirringly performed and conducted, this is music whose melodies and harmonies fit perfectly with the sound of a brass band ...'
CD Spotlight. Jubilant Performance - Christmas music from the Bristol Brass Consort, enjoyed by Keith Bramich. '... the arrangements here are varied and interesting, and the standard of performance quality is high.'
CD Spotlight. Lifting the Spirits - Reformation music, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Five hundred years of memorable music condensed into just seventy-one minutes and performed spectacularly by Jared Stellmacher and Mark Sudeith, sympathetically supported by the Chicago Gargoyle Brass and Organ Ensemble.'
CD Spotlight. An Unmissable Issue - Gerald Fenech explores the music of Marc'Antonio Ingegneri. 'The repetition of phrases in the musical exchange between the two choirs becomes almost hypnotic for the listener, and one feels totally engrossed in the Eucharistic mystery.'
CD Spotlight. Great Advocacy - Gerald Fenech listens to orchestral music by Nikos Skalkottas. 'Stefanos Tsialis draws impassioned playing from his Athens ensemble, and the openheartedness and technical finesse with which these works are despatched is beyond admiration.'
Pleasingly Eclectic - Mike Wheeler listens to James Curnow, J S Bach, Andrew Downes, Simon Lesley, Randy Newman, Lennon and McCartney, and Irving Berlin from Curzon Brass
CD Spotlight. Appealing Work - Music for euphonium, heard by the late Howard Smith. '... it's the lyrical selections that reveal Frey at his finest.'
Ensemble. Richly Sonorous - Derby Bach Choir joins forces with Derventio Brass for music by Schütz, Bruckner, Elgar, Walton, Parry, Monteverdi and Rutter, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. No Reservations Here - The Meridian Arts Ensemble, heard by the late Howard Smith. '... an unusually broad span of inspired composition.'
CD Spotlight. Absolutely Enthralling - Music for brass and organ, strongly recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Barbara Bruns and the Thompson Brass Ensemble give dazzling performances full of compelling virtuosity and brilliantly executed musical stunts that never fail to surprise ...'
CD Spotlight. Fascinating Stuff - Thomas Coates' band music, recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... highly polished performances full of fun and joy ...'
CD Spotlight. Immediate Appeal - Music by and inspired by Axel Borup-Jørgensen, recommended by Geoff Pearce. '... very descriptive, atmospheric music ...'
CD Spotlight. First Water - The latest disc from Roger Argente's Superbrass, recommended by Paul Sarcich. 'Who but the best professionals could live up to this?'
CD Spotlight. Highly Atmospheric - Roger Argente's Superbrass, heard by Paul Sarcich. '... one almost gets the smell of Renaissance Spain.'
CD Spotlight. Really Delightful - Christmas music from Mainstreet Brass, enjoyed by Kelly Ferjutz. 'This lovely collection really does provide something for everyone ...'
Ensemble. Richly Expressive - The Cleveland Orchestra begins its annual South Florida residency, by Lawrence Budmen
Ensemble. Fresh and Gleaming - Sinfonia Viva's performance at the 2011 Association of British Orchestras conference impresses Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Tough Assignment - Michelle Stebleton plays music for solo horn, and Paul Sarcich is impressed. '... both musical and technical satisfaction ...'
CD Spotlight. Poignant Sounds - String quartets by Peter Garland, heard by Patric Standford. '... remote and apparently disengaged ...'
CD Spotlight. Wonderfully Deft - Choral and orchestral music by Camille Saint-Saëns, heard by Robert Anderson. 'The London Philharmonic under Geoffrey Simon gives of its best ...'
CD Spotlight. A Vigorous Spirit - Music by Matthew Taylor, heard by Patric Standford. '... skill and personality in equal measures ...'
CD Spotlight. Sheer Delight - Table music by Biber, recommended by Patric Standford. '... a superb and sensitive performance ...'
Ensemble. Indulging in Forbidden Consecutives - Mastersingers at the BBC Proms, reviewed by Robert Anderson
Ensemble. High Expectations - Barenboim's 'Das Rheingold' at La Scala, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. A Top-notch Formation - Operas by Zemlinsky and Puccini, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Splendid Richness - Music from Goldsmiths Chamber Choir and Brass Ensemble, heard by Malcolm Miller
Ensemble. Highly-Charged - Joyce Yang, Edo de Waart and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, reviewed by Rebecca Schmid
Ensemble. Truly Memorable - A concert of arias at Arizona Opera impresses Maria Nockin
Ensemble. Unusual and Different - Tan Dun's 'The Banquet', reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. A Fine Performance - Verdi's 'Nabucco' from San Diego Opera, enjoyed by Maria Nockin
Ensemble. A True Dynamo - Lawrence Budmen listens to French conductor Ludovic Morlot, in concert with Jennifer Koh and the New World Symphony
CD Spotlight. Great Poise - Petrenko conducts Shostakovich symphonies, recommended by Paul Sarcich. '... care and thoughtfulness ...'
CD Spotlight. Insistent Patterns - Music by Yuanlin Chen, recommended by Ron Bierman. '... marvelous textures ...'
CD Spotlight. Impressive Singing - Vocal and choral music by Cecilia McDowall, heard by Patric Standford. '... attractive, lyrical and sometimes forceful ...'
Ensemble. Style and Drama - Gluck's 'Alceste', heard by Robert Hugill
Ensemble. Crystalline Lightness - A Symphony of the Americas concert, reviewed by Lawrence Budmen
CD Spotlight. A Robust Heart - Washington Symphonic Brass, heard by Howard Smith. '... a programme deserving of sustained applause and huge admiration.'
Ensemble. Brisk Ebullience - Lawrence Budmen sends a second report from this summer's Tanglewood Festival
CD Spotlight. Imaginative and Challenging - Music by Philip Wilby, heard by Patric Standford. 'Nothing stands still for long ...'
Record Box. Intimate Demands - Music by Igor Krivokapic, heard by Patric Standford
Ensemble. Thought-provoking - Music by Harle and Maxwell Davies, heard by Malcolm Miller
CD Spotlight. Glamorous Barbarity - John Corigliano's 'Circus Maximus', heard by Ron Bierman. 'The performances could not be bettered ...'
CD Spotlight. Sensuality and Freedom - Stokowski conducts Schubert and Dvorák, heard by Béla Hartmann. '... one is never left in any doubt as to the force of the conductor ...'
Ensemble. Expert Playing - Music for voices and brass, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. A Surefire Winner - A recital by Lin Jiang and Benjamin Martin, recommended by Howard Smith. '... superbly performed.'
Ensemble. Infectious Rhythms - Jim Lueers' 'Come to the Well', enjoyed by Kelly Ferjutz
Record Box. Virtuosic Turns - Solo sonatas by Benedetto Marcello, reviewed by Gerald Fenech
CD Spotlight. Confronting Energy - Music played by the Meridian Arts Ensemble, reviewed by Malcolm Tattersall. '... the Kronos Quartet of brass ensembles?'
Ensemble. Sparkle and Communicability - Joseph Horovitz's 80th birthday celebration, appreciated by Malcolm Miller
Ensemble. Twinkling and sparkling - An organ and brass holiday celebration in Cleveland, USA, reviewed by Kelly Ferjutz
CD Spotlight. Festive mood - Carols for brass, appreciated by Kelly Ferjutz. '... simply superb.'
Ask Alice - Balls for baubles, plus a Romeo and Juliet prelude. Into the sin bin with brass players and conductors, thrown by classical music agony aunt Alice McVeigh
Record box. Slick and fun - The London trumpet sound impresses Keith Bramich
Record box - Blowing to good purpose - Brass in consort, with Basil Ramsey