LISTENING TO TCHAIKOVSKY: Béla Hartmann uses his knowledge of Eastern Europe to argue against the banning of all Russian culture following Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine.
ROMANTICISM: Explore the late George Colerick's fascinating series of articles encroaching on the subjects of melody, romanticism, operetta and humour in music.
CD Spotlight. Lush Orchestrations - Gerald Fenech listens to orchestral music by British composer Philip Lane. '... so much to enjoy.'
Classical music news - January Newsletter and December Obituaries - Our January 2023 PDF newsletter has just been published, along with a summary of those the classical music world lost in December 2022
Ensemble. Unimpeachable Sensitivity - Mike Wheeler listens to Walton, Ravel, Gershwin and Debussy from John Wilson and the Sinfonia of London
CD Spotlight. Very Worthwhile and Creative - Geoff Pearce discovers the music of Macedonian-born Mihailo Trandafilovski. '... the performers are outstanding ...'
Ensemble. Vitality and Imagination - Mike Wheeler listens to the Delphine Trio, in his last report from the 2022 Buxton Festival
CD Spotlight. Spirit of a Nation - Gerald Fenech is impressed by music of nineteenth century Polish composers Henryk Wieniawski, Ignacy Feliks Dobrzyński and Karol Kurpiński. '... both players and soloists surpass themselves with passionate renditions ...'
Ensemble. Major Success for a Young Orchestra - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Mozart, played by the Canova Chamber Orchestra
Ensemble. Becoming One - Mike Wheeler listens to music by Raphael Clarkson, Cecilia McDowall, Beethoven, Bartók, Preetha Narayanan and Mozart to celebrate Sinfonia Viva's fortieth anniversary
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. Thoroughly Delightful - Geoff Pearce listens to chamber music by Poulenc. '... the performers are all very fine ...'
Ensemble. Simply Outstanding - Mike Wheeler is impressed by performances of Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky and Myroslav Skoryk from Patricia Kopatchinskaya, Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
CD Spotlight. Noble Grief - Music from Leonard Slatkin and his family, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... legendary renditions full of mesmerizing violin playing ...'
CD Spotlight. True to the Composer's Original Intentions - Schubert's Octet, heard by Geoff Pearce. '... the sound is detailed and crisp, and the balance is good.'
CD Spotlight. Immediate and Colourful - Geoff Pearce listens to Sebastian Fagerlund. '... probably definitive performances of these works.'
CD Spotlight. An Exciting Discovery - Gerald Fenech listens to clarinet concertos by German composer Franz Anton Dimler. '... performances are nothing short of phenomenal on every level.'
Classical music news - October and November 2021 Obituaries - Our summary of those the classical music world has lost this and last month
CD Spotlight. Chinese Contemporary Music - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Xiaoyong Chen. 'The mixture of colours is very interesting.'
Ensemble. Highly Effective - Chamber music from members of Sinfonia Viva, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. A Connection with Mahler - Music by Penderecki, recommended by Geoff Pearce. 'The Polish Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Sopot, conducted by Wojciech Rajski, is magnificent.'
CD Spotlight. Reich through German Eyes and Ears - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to a Steve Reich anthology. '... a very dramatic reading with a small number of instrumentalists ...'
Ensemble. Old and New - Giuseppe Pennisi returns to the Chigiana Festival
Ensemble. Fresh and Appealing - Mike Wheeler listens to the Françaix Wind Trio
CD Spotlight. A Bridge between Musical Cultures - Music by Lukas Ligeti, heard by Giuseppe Pennisi. 'If you like electronic music and African (even archaic) music, this CD is your perfect cup of tea.'
CD Spotlight. High Romanticism - Paul Sarcich discovers the music of Robert Kahn. 'Ensemble Émigré have done fine service to Kahn ...'
CD Spotlight. Engrossingly Moving - Works for clarinet and orchestra by Nielsen, Copland and MacMillan, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'A challenging programme, superbly presented and recorded.'
CD Spotlight. Awakening the Joy for Life - Béla Hartmann is impressed by music for clarinet and piano by Brahms and Widmann played by Jörg Widmann and András Schiff. 'In every respect this is a superb CD, combining playing of the highest craft and musical understanding with great works of the past, as well as new contributions which are likely to become established regulars in the modern piano repertoire.'
CD Spotlight. Time and Space - Geoff Pearce recommends accessible contemporary music for cello by French composer Dominique Lemaître, played by Dan Barrett. 'All the artists involved, and especially cellist Dan Barrett, produce truly inspirational music making.'
Ensemble. Experimental Music in Rome - Giuseppe Pennisi drops in to the ArtScience Festival and the Roman Philharmonic Academy's Garden Festival
CD Spotlight. Matching Words with Music - Gerald Fenech listens to music for soprano and clarinet by Lori Laitman, Kalmen Opperman and Diana Rosenblum. 'The programme is delivered with panache and polished maturity ...'
CD Spotlight. Tonal Brilliance - Brahms clarinet chamber music, heard by Patrick Maxwell. '... Brahms' incredible score is done full justice in this recording, which shows the best of the composer's last years and the glories of Romantic chamber music.'
CD Spotlight. Unique and Most Compelling - Concertos by Danish composer Bent Sørensen, heard by Eugene Takeuchi-Williams. '... in these three pieces, Sørensen is the consistent champion of the understatement.'
Ensemble. Relaxed and Exuberant - Mike Wheeler listens to Cavendish Winds playing Mozart, Danzi, Debussy, Arnold, Vaughan Williams, Holst, Bozza, Ligeti and Gershwin
Classical music news - January Obituaries - Our summary of those the classical music world lost last month
CD Spotlight. Contrast and Energy - Modern wind chamber music, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'This is an enjoyable disc with quite a diversity of styles, performed by musicians of high calibre. I think most people who listen to these works will enjoy them.'
CD Spotlight. Interesting and Entertaining - Geoff Pearce listens to music by Paul Reale. '... a fantastic disc ...'
Classical music news. Adrian Williams - The English Symphony Orchestra announces Adrian Williams as its John McCabe Composer-in-Association for 2019/20
Microtonal Trills and Tremolos - Luca Luciano pushes the boundaries of clarinet playing, impressing Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. An Emotional Journey? - Geoff Pearce listens to music for solo instruments and orchestra. 'The performance is very tight and exciting.'
Ensemble. Slavic Melancholy - Chris Swann, the strings of Sinfonia Viva and Frank Zielhorst perform Mozart, Arensky, Finzi and Tchaikovsky in a new performance space, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. A Powerful Experience - Rimsky-Korsakov and Messiaen from Ensemble Mirage, heard by Mike Wheeler
Classical music news. Obituary - Wolfgang Meyer (1954-2019)
CD Spotlight. Double Meanings? - Seattle-based ensemble Torch, heard by Keith Bramich. '... the music sounds modern, jazzy, light and almost aleatoric-sounding.'
Plangent and Nimble - Naples-born clarinettist and composer Luca Luciano impresses Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Showing the Wild Side - A clarinet and piano recital by Hannah Gobbett and Hugh Morris, entertains Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Stunningly Performed - Trios by Schumann, Smit, Mozart and Françaix, recommended by Geoff Pearce. 'Music is in fine hands for the future with young artists of this calibre.'
Ensemble. Debussy Perspective - Giuseppe Pennisi samples a concert series marking the one hundredth anniversary of the French composer's death
CD Spotlight. Absolutely Delightful - Woodwind music by Scott Pender, enjoyed by Geoff Pearce. 'This is a fine, enjoyable disc, and the performers are all first class.'
CD Spotlight. Great Partners - Music for clarinet and piano, enjoyed by Geoff Pearce. 'This great disc will bring joy to everyone who listens to it.'
CD Spotlight. Worthy of Brahms - Chamber music by Marteau and Zemlinsky, enjoyed by Geoff Pearce. '... never boring, but full blooded and passionate. All the players have complex passages and are equal partners.'
CD Spotlight. A Versatile Composer - Music by Geoffrey Hanson, recommended by Geoff Pearce. 'Performances are superb and everyone is a standout.'
Ensemble. Splendidly Lucid - Elgar, Weber, Tchaikovsky and more from Julian Bliss, Mark Elder and the Hallé Orchestra, reported by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. An Attractive Sound-world - Mike Wheeler listens to the Thorne Trio
CD Spotlight. Sheer Joy - Som Howie's debut recital, recommended by Geoff Pearce. '... a lovely expansive open sound ...'
Ensemble. Off-the-beaten Track - Chamber music from Katherine Jenkinson, Julian Bliss and Alison Farr, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Totally Cohesive - Mozart and Brahms clarinet quintets, heard by Geoff Pearce. '... a gem of a disc ...'
CD Spotlight. Feral Wildness - Music by Osias Wilenski, heard by the late Howard Smith. 'Lauded for his compositional style, Wilenski's unique works range from narrative symphonic poems and operatic spin-offs to instrumental miniatures.'
CD Spotlight. Enthusiasm and Precision - Carl Nielsen concerti, recommended by Stephen Francis Vasta. '... an essential acquisition, and not just for Nielsen collectors.'
Ensemble. Vigour and Freshness - Clarinettist Julian Bliss joins Andrew Gourlay and Sinfonia Viva, enjoyed by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Something Transcendent - Music performed by A Far Cry, heard by Howard Smith. '... evidently capable hands ...'
Ensemble. Exuberance in Reserve - A wide-ranging programme from Christopher Stripp and Lucy Colquhoun, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Clearly Inescapable - Gerard Schurmann's chamber music impresses Howard Smith. '... potent, consuming, thematically cogent and burning with zeal.'
CD Spotlight. Very Practical - Hindemith music for clarinet, appreciated by Robert Anderson. 'Richard Stoltzman has every opportunity to display his outstanding technique ...'
Ensemble. Delicious Buzzing - A new departure for Derby's Assembly Rooms, appreciated by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Artistic Merit - Music for saxophones, heard by Bill Newman. '... daring and exploratory.'
CD Spotlight. Lyrical Radiance - Paul Dean plays Brahms and Schumann, recommended by Howard Smith. '... look no further.'
CD Spotlight. Different Idioms - Clarinet music by Brahms, Mendelssohn and Schumann, heard by Robert Anderson. 'Emma Johnson and John Lenehan make a fine partnership ...'
Ensemble. Humour and Fizz - Eddie Daniels and the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Kristjan Järvi, heard by Alice McVeigh