Classical music news. March 2023 Newsletter - Our March 2023 PDF newsletter has just been published, along with some extra classical music news and our February 2023 classical music obituaries
Ensemble. Unimpeachable Sensitivity - Mike Wheeler listens to Walton, Ravel, Gershwin and Debussy from John Wilson and the Sinfonia of London
Echoes of Oblivion by Robert McCarney - The Roots of Magic
CD Spotlight. Dante's Paradise in Three Parts - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to music by Salvatore Sciarrino. '... the three soloists depict the protagonists of the journey to the top of Paradise very well.'
CD Spotlight. Wonderfully Transparent and Detailed - Robert McCarney listens to symphonies by Latvian/Canadian composer Tālivaldis Ķeniņš. 'The playing by all concerned is excellent.'
Ensemble. Changing Tastes - Giuseppe Pennisi was in the audience for Leonard Bernstein's 'Mass'
Classical music news - May 2022 Obituaries - Our summary of those the classical music world has lost this month
CD Spotlight. Thoroughly Delightful - Geoff Pearce listens to chamber music by Poulenc. '... the performers are all very fine ...'
CD Spotlight. Captivatingly Melodic - Gerald Fenech admires Tatjana Ruhland's playing of August Eberhard Müller flute concertos. 'Tatjana Ruhland ... is, in every sense of the word, a 'sorceress' of the instrument ...'
CD Spotlight. Noble Grief - Music from Leonard Slatkin and his family, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... legendary renditions full of mesmerizing violin playing ...'
CD Spotlight. A Series of Polished Gems - Roderic Dunnett listens to chamber, instrumental music and songs by Gerard Schurmann. 'This is one of the most enchanting, fragile, flawless song cycles I have ever heard, anywhere.'
CD Spotlight. Chinese Contemporary Music - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Xiaoyong Chen. 'The mixture of colours is very interesting.'
CD Spotlight. Rococo Charm - Boccherini quintets, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'These are finely polished scores and Les Ombres oblige with some sparkling virtuosity that is a pleasure for the senses.'
CD Spotlight. Birdsong Fragments - 'Songs of Travel and Home' performed by Jullien van Mellaerts, recommended by Geoff Pearce. '... a singer with a very expressive voice, a pleasing tone, a great insight into the music he sings ...'
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. Virtuoso Exuberance - Mike Wheeler listens to the Pelléas Ensemble at the Buxton Festival
CD Spotlight. Beautifully Crafted - Music by Dutch composer Hendrik Andriessen, recommended by Geoff Pearce. '... absolutely inspirational ...'
CD Spotlight. Delightful and Colourful - Geoff Pearce recommends a new Chandos recording of music by Henri Dutilleux. 'This music will delight all who hear it ...'
Classical music news - Occurrence, Concurrence and Recurrence - A recent CD from the Iceland Symphony Orchestra has been published and recorded by Sono Luminus
CD Spotlight. An Absolute Delight - Volume three of Charles Koechlin's 'Les Chants de Nectaire' impresses Geoff Pearce. '... Nicola Woodward's playing is sumptuous, insightful and virtuosic when it needs to be, without ever being flashy.'
Ensemble. Modern Italian Music in Rome - Works by Francesco Pennisi, Goffredo Petrassi and Marcello Panni, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
Classical music news - November 2020 Obituaries - Our summary of those the classical music world has lost this month
CD Spotlight. Angels in Paris - Two sets of solo flute music by Charles Koechlin, recommended by Geoff Pearce. '... Nicola Woodward's flute playing in the two sets that I have heard is sumptuous and varied, and one could not wish for a finer performance.'
CD Spotlight. An Unusual Debut - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to music by Ravel, James Francis Brown and Liana Alexandra, performed by Andrea Oliva and the Hemisphaeria Trio. '... an innovative program by a very promising ensemble.'
Ensemble. 'New Music' in Rome - Giuseppe Pennisi reports from the last of the Accademia Filarmonica Romana's summer concerts
CD Spotlight. The Host and the Guest - Ona Jarmalavičiūtė listens to a celebration of Eastern and Western musical cultures. '... truly striking performances.'
CD Spotlight. Psychological Acuity - Music for harp by Boris Tishchenko impresses Gerald Fenech. '... challenging but highly rewarding music, passionately performed and sumptuously recorded.'
Classical music news - March 2020 Obituaries - Our summary of those the classical music world lost last month
CD Spotlight. South American Melodic Turns - Music by José Serebrier, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... I was very much taken by the imagination, colour, rhythm and neo-classical expressiveness of the music, particularly in the "tango" pieces ...'
Ensemble. Relaxed and Exuberant - Mike Wheeler listens to Cavendish Winds playing Mozart, Danzi, Debussy, Arnold, Vaughan Williams, Holst, Bozza, Ligeti and Gershwin
Ensemble. Darmstadt is Dead - A performance of 'Hyperion' in Rome celebrates Bruno Maderna's centenary, and Giuseppe Pennisi is in the audience
CD Spotlight. Unusual and Colourful - Contemporary orchestral works and concertos by James Lentini, Rain Worthington, Jan Järvlepp, Peter Castine and Beth Mehocic, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'The performances are committed and enjoyable.'
CD Spotlight. Style and Panache - Gerald Fenech listens to flute music by Mieczysław Weinberg. 'A compelling disc which should keep the renewed interest in Weinberg's musical legacy on the upward curve.'
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 ...'
CD Spotlight. Quite Unusual - Orchestral storytelling by Jon Deak, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'The performances here are very good, the music colourful and inventive, and I can imagine that this disc may appeal more to people with children than to adult listeners.'
Ensemble. On the High and Open Sea - Giuseppe Pennisi samples Italy's 2019 Ravenna Summer Festival
CD Spotlight. Highlights of a Composer - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to music by Nicola Sani. 'The performances by Roberto Fabbriciani and Alvise Vidolin, frequent collaborators of Nicola Sani, were just superb.'
Ensemble. A Pleasure Garden - Two summer concerts on an evening in Rome, heard by Giuseppe Pennisi
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. Bags of Fun - Music for flute and piano, heard by the late Howard Smith. '... eminently commendable.'
CD Spotlight. Persuasive Fluency - Music for flute, played by Samantha Chang, heard by the late Howard Smith. '... captivating performances ...'
Ensemble. Piquancy and Elegance - A recital by Claire Wickes and Tomos Xerri, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. A Treasure Trove - Music for Palaeolithic bone flutes fascinates Gerald Fenech. '... the oldest evidence of musical creation anywhere in the world.'
CD Spotlight. What treasures! - British music for flute and piano, enjoyed by the late Howard Smith. 'Smith and Rhodes present definitive, warmly recorded performances of this gorgeous, all-UK repertory, some of it apparently on disc for the first time.'
CD Spotlight. Beyond Words - Rachel Brown's Revolutionary Flute Quartets, highly recommended by Alice McVeigh. 'The double-CD is worth buying for this slice of Gluck alone.'
CD Spotlight. Trailblazing Stuff - Orchestral music by Kevin Puts, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... compelling throughout ...'
Ensemble. Distinctly Gallic - Rosanna Ter-Berg and Leo Nicholson, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Bewitchingly Improvisatory - Rachel Brown's 'A Tribute to Bach', recommended by Alice McVeigh. '... Rachel Brown has enough talent, in her littlest finger, to lift an entire orchestra ...'
CD Spotlight. Utmost Precision - Music by David Kechley impressed the late Howard Smith. 'Stimulating, unpretentious, singularly different.'
CD Spotlight. Enthusiasm and Precision - Carl Nielsen concerti, recommended by Stephen Francis Vasta. '... an essential acquisition, and not just for Nielsen collectors.'
CD Spotlight. Limited Soundscape - Music by Beth Anderson, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'The performances were well realized ...'
CD Spotlight. Particularly Enticing - Antonio Vivaldi flute concerti, recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Steger is a likeable exponent ...'
CD Spotlight. Beautifully Managed - Music for Lent and Easter impresses Howard Smith. '... excellent musical standards and high technical achievements ...'
CD Spotlight. Real Gems - Paris Conservatoire connections for flute and piano, heard by Geoff Pearce. '... a good addition to any collection ...'
CD Spotlight. Immediately Approachable - Music by Kevin Malone, heard by Howard Smith. '... a fantastical carnival of sound, style and social critique.'
CD Spotlight. Blown Away - Marina Piccinini plays Paganini, recommended by Howard Smith. '... hypnotic interpretative gifts ...'
CD Spotlight. Considerable Substance - Contemporary music for cello, heard by Howard Smith. '... Marinescu ... appears to have the measure of each work on offer here.'
CD Spotlight. Entrancing Ideas - Slovenian flute music, enjoyed by Howard Smith. '... advanced, imaginative, exhilarating, jubilant and utterly irrepressible.'
CD Spotlight. Relatively Conservative - American music for flute and piano, heard by Ron Bierman. 'Amy Porter plays with feeling and clean, seemingly effortless articulation ...'
CD Spotlight. Breath Control - Amy Porter plays J S Bach Cello Suites, heard by Howard Smith. '... fluent and uniformly pleasing.'
CD Spotlight. Schoenbergian Gospel? - Concertos by Krzysztof Penderecki, recommended by Ron Bierman. '... an exceptionally worthwhile release.'
CD Spotlight. Mesmerizing Creations - Music by Anthony Piccolo, heard by Andrew Schartmann. '... a well-rounded perspective on his musical style.'
Andrew Schartmann's Musical Tidbits - An Exercise in Self-Constraint. Non-conventional Harmony in Poulenc's Sonata for Flute and Piano
CD Spotlight. Freedom and Improvisation - A recital by Wissam Boustany, recommended by Ron Bierman. 'He commands an exceptional range of styles and techniques.'
CD Spotlight. Beauteous Tone - Flautist Lisa Friend's debut disc, heard by Howard Smith. '... pleasing and ideally accomplished.'
CD Spotlight. Wonderfully Complementary - Music for flute and organ, recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... mastery, panache and a sense of balance that is almost uncanny.'
CD Spotlight. Romantic Melodies - Gaubert and Debussy for flute, heard by Ron Bierman. '... a fine, well-played collection ...'
Ensemble. 'Back to Bloch' - Sybil Michelow on the Importance of being Ernest Bloch
CD Spotlight. Beautiful Tone - Music for flute and piano, admired by Ron Bierman. 'The romantic-flute repertoire has never sounded better.'