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.
RECENT: Composers Daniel Schorno and John Dante Prevedini discuss creativity, innovation and re-invention with Maria Nockin, Mary Mogil, Giuseppe Pennisi and Roderic Dunnett in our hour-long April 2021 video.
Classical music news - Notations - Oregon Symphony's latest digital series celebrates the connection between culture and music, spotlighting the diversity of Oregon's extraordinary musical landscape
Ensemble. The Early Bird Arrives - Two more concerts at the 2021 Buxton Festival, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Quietly Compelling - Two Buxton Festival concerts involving the guitar, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Three Divas - Maria Nockin reviews a streamed recital from Versailles, given by Ailyn Pérez, Nadine Sierra, Isabel Leonard, Vlad Iftinca and Pablo Sáinz-Villegas
CD Spotlight. A Master of Improvisation - Music by Roland Dyens played by Anna Mnich and recommended by Geoff Pearce. 'The guitarist is clean in her execution, sympathetic in her musical treatment and her harmonics are flawless.'
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. Modern Italian Music in Rome - Works by Francesco Pennisi, Goffredo Petrassi and Marcello Panni, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
CD Spotlight. Revisiting the Close Bond of Violin and Guitar - Kim Sjøgren and Lars Hannibal play music by Paganini and Sarasate, heard by Ona Jarmalavičiūtė. '... very elegant, vibrant, virtuosic and illustrative.'
Classical music news - Eleonora Perretta - A young Neapolitan guitarist wins the 2020 Mottola Guitar Competition in south-east Italy
CD Spotlight. Magic and Mystery - Gerald Fenech listens to music for guitar and orchestra played by Junhong Kuang, Darrell Ang and the Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Pardubice. 'An attractive assortment of guitar music from both sides of the Atlantic, marvellously executed and recorded, with some well researched notes thrown in for good measure.'
CD Spotlight. A Swiss Household Name - Music for guitar by Hans Haug and Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... the enchanting playing of Marisa Minder is memorable throughout.'
Classical music news - August 2020 Obituaries - Our summary of those the classical music world has lost this month
Classical music news. Obituary - Julian Bream (1933-2020)
Ensemble. 'New Music' in Rome - Giuseppe Pennisi reports from the last of the Accademia Filarmonica Romana's summer concerts
Classical music news - If The Night Grows Dark - Bright Shiny Things releases soprano Camille Zamora's survey of four centuries of Spanish song
CD Spotlight. Full of Colours and Flavour - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to music from Sharon Isbin and the Pacifica Quartet. '... an original program and excellent rendering make very pleasant listening.'
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.'
Ensemble. Trade Secrets - Mike Wheeler listens to guitarist Craig Ogden and friends
Ensemble. Special Moments - Adam J Sacks provides a Hong Kong snapshot on the classical music world
CD Spotlight. A Stupendous Disc - Roderic Dunnett listens to countertenor duets by Purcell and Blow. 'The music is sensationally beautiful and touching - and so are the performances.'
Ensemble. Blaringly Unusual - Maria Nockin listens to Pittance Chamber Music's opening concert
Classical music news. Obituary - Barrington Pheloung (1954-2019)
Lost Music for Lost Souls - Richard Meszto tells the story of the re-discovery of Allan Rae's music for 'Charles Manson AKA Jesus Christ', a play by Fabian Jennings
CD Spotlight. An Emotional Journey? - Geoff Pearce listens to music for solo instruments and orchestra. 'The performance is very tight and exciting.'
CD Spotlight. Great Performances - Music for oboe and cor anglais by Phil Salathé, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'This composer is technically assured, and has a unique perspective and voice.'
CD Spotlight. Mood Enhancing - 360 Degree Guitar Duo, heard by the late Howard Smith. '... ideal for relaxation with a chianti ...'
Ensemble. Genuine Insights - Lizzie Ball and Morgan Szymanski at the Buxton Festival impress Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. An Odd Couple? - Music from Japan and Portugal at Rome's 'Opus' Festival, heard by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. A Pleasure Garden - Two summer concerts on an evening in Rome, heard by Giuseppe Pennisi
CD Spotlight. Infinitely Varied - English music for solo guitar, enjoyed by Geoff Pearce. 'If you love English guitar music, and the performances of Julian Bream in particular, you will truly enjoy this disc.'
CD Spotlight. Immaculately Crazy - Red Priest's 'Baroque Bohemians' impresses Alice McVeigh. '... extreme alternations of mood, from manic charges to bucolic brusqueness, with serious offbeat percussive work ... and general anarchy ...'
Ensemble. Special Offer - Two top guitarists for the price of one, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Culturally Ambiguous - Tiara Ataii listens to British-Israeli countertenor Yaniv d'Or
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. A Long Musical Summer - Giuseppe Pennisi attended the Chigiana International Festival in Siena
CD Spotlight. An Intruiguing View - Guitar music by Sofia Gubaidulina, heard by Keith Bramich. '... clear, poised and committed performances.'
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. Expressive Style - Music for cello and guitar, heard by Howard Smith. '... the entire concert is alive with a myriad textual and sonic possibilities.'
Ensemble. Guitar and Cello - Maria Nockin listens to Eliot Fisk and Yehuda Hanani
CD Spotlight. Deeply Affecting - Ian Bostridge sings Benjamin Britten, heard by Andrew Schartmann. '... Bostridge conveys the emotional content ... with unwavering conviction.'
Subliminal Messages - Evoke your musical senses with Vermeer, by Ellen MacDonald-Kramer
DVD Spotlight. Curiously Uninvolved - Thibault Cauvin's travels in China, reviewed by Howard Smith. '... a catalogue of missed opportunities.'
CD Spotlight. Natural Habitats? - Orchestral music by Alan Hovhaness, heard by Robert Anderson. '... the whole team under Stewart Robertson gives of their best ...'
CD Spotlight. Modest Performances - A guitar recital by Stephen Reck, heard by Patric Standford. '... a competent and varied presentation ...'
CD Spotlight. Chalk and Cheese - The nylon-string guitar of Tony R Clef, heard by Howard Smith. '... extraordinary recorded clarity.'
CD Spotlight. Appealing Performances - Guitar music by Ponce and Tansman, heard by Patric Standford. '... a real pleasure ...'
DVD Spotlight. Beyond Criticism - Paul Galbraith plays Mozart, Bach and Britten, recommended by Howard Smith. '... palpable, near-orchestral grandeur.'
DVD Spotlight. Imaginatively Produced - Mesut Özgen plays contemporary guitar music, enjoyed by Patric Standford. '... an impressive performer who selects a distinctive repertoire ...'
DVD Spotlight. Not for Everyone - A collaboration between Turnage and Scofield, reviewed by Ron Bierman. '... well executed ...'
CD Spotlight. Composer's Authority? - J S Bach transcribed for guitar, heard by Robert Anderson. '... consummate skill ...'
Ask Alice - Trendy in Bromley, and bluesy music with a twist, with classical music agony aunt Alice McVeigh
CD Spotlight. A Magnificent Celebration - Three Rodrigo guitar concertos, enjoyed by Robert Anderson. 'Alfonso Moreno is a superb protagonist, technically impeccable ...'
Ensemble. Music and Art - Karen Haid experiences Roma Opera Omnia
DVD Spotlight. Ho hum! - Vidor Nagy plays Bach and Paganini, reviewed by Howard Smith. '... moments of splendour.'
Ensemble. Very Welcome - Robert Hugill experiences Stephen Oliver's 'Euridice'
CD Spotlight. A Delightful Spirit - Balkan music for flute and guitar, heard by Howard Smith. '... a near perfect blend of timbre and balance ...'
CD Spotlight. Rich Timbres - Music by Robert Baksa, recommended by Ron Bierman. 'The performances express Baksa's gentle optimism beautifully.'
CD Spotlight. Beautifully Managed - Music for flute and guitar, heard by Howard Smith. '... reflective and purposeful ...'
CD Spotlight. A Curate's Egg - Light music from Turkey, heard by Howard Smith. '... colourful, exotic and hugely entertaining ...'
Masks - Jennifer Paull continues her investigation of musical and theatrical masks
Masks - Jennifer Paull investigates a layering of musical and theatrical masks, with the omnipresent eerie reminder of the gas mask
Profile. Important Skills - Maria Nockin talks to American mezzo Dolora Zajick
CD Spotlight. A Shattered Mirror - Paganini caprices arranged for string quartet, heard by Howard Smith. '... technically cluttered.'
Ensemble. Highly Inventive - Music by Stephen Foster, reviewed by Kelly Ferjutz
Ensemble. An Ideal Balance - An evening with the Northern Sinfonia and friends delights Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Soulful Intimacy - A concert by Yasmin Levy lingers in Malcolm Miller's memory
CD Spotlight. Fresh Repertoire - Austin Moorhead's guitar recital, heard by Patric Standford. '... a programme to which it is well worth giving time.'
CD Spotlight. A Tactile Rhetoric - 'Last Cicada Singing' by Christopher Roberts, contemplated by Malcolm Tattersall. '... gesture becomes music ...'
CD Spotlight. Diverse and Interesting - Music by John A Carollo, heard by Ron Bierman. 'Only partly my cup of tea ...'
CD Spotlight. Miniaturist Skills - Music by Carey Blyton, heard by Patric Standford. '... a delight for both performer and listener.'
Eleven Days without 'Aunt Mary' - Carolyn Ellis describes an unusual problem whilst travelling
Ensemble. A New Dimension - Giuseppe Pennisi reports that chamber opera is alive and well
CD Spotlight. Insistent Patterns - Music by Yuanlin Chen, recommended by Ron Bierman. '... marvelous textures ...'
CD Spotlight. Musical Novelties - Café music from Vienna, enjoyed by Patric Standford
CD Spotlight. Passionate Commitment - Victoria's 'Missa Gaudeaumus', welcomed by Robert Anderson. '... a joyous celebration ...'
Ensemble. Profoundly Beautiful - William Christie's 'Dido and Aeneas' impresses Robert Hugill
CD Spotlight. Utterly Absorbing - A sampler from Cedille Records, enjoyed by Howard Smith. '... top quality standards.'
Ask Alice - On location, social networking and the guitar, with classical music agony aunt Alice McVeigh
Ask Alice - On gentle Harvey Shapiro and the pressure of New York, with classical music agony aunt Alice McVeigh
CD Spotlight. Diversely Experienced - Music for bassoon, harpsichord and double bass, impresses Howard Smith. '... an outright "tour de force".'
Ensemble. Sonic Imagination - Mike Wheeler listens to Horses Brawl
Record Box. Haunted Loneliness - Orchestral music by Benjamin Britten, heard by Patric Standford
Record Box. Many Pleasures - Music for guitar quartet, recommended by Ron Bierman
Refreshingly Poetic - Eleftheria Kotzia returns to Derby, and Mike Wheeler listens
Record Box. Irish Rambles - Music by Turlough O'Carolan, reviewed by Malcolm Tattersall
DVD Spotlight. Heart of Genius - Christopher Nupen's films about Andrés Segovia, enjoyed by Howard Smith. '... a quiet, heaven-sent artistry ...'
CD Spotlight. Tumbling - David Leisner's 'Acrobats', reviewed by Malcolm Tattersall. '... as authoritative as one could wish.'
CD Spotlight. A Colorful Collection - Music for guitar played by David Isaacs, reviewed by Anna L Franco. '... expressive performance ...'
Record Box. Unexceptionable - Malcolm Tattersall reviews music from Brazil, Venezuela and Argentina
Record Box. Beautiful Tone - J S Bach for guitar, reviewed by Anna L Franco
Ensemble. A Magical Blend - Malcolm Miller enjoys the Sariel-Ghilione Duo and Yehezkel Braun's new Sonata for Mandolin and Guitar
Record Box. Delightful Clarity - Mahler's Symphony No 7 played by Staatskapelle Berlin, recommended by Patric Standford
Ensemble. Enjoyment all round - Greek guitarist Eleftheria Kotzia in Derby, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Sonatas and sonatinas - Guitar music played by Nathan Kolosko, recommended by Malcolm Tattersall. 'Kolosko's playing is clean, fluent and assured ...'
CD Spotlight. An ideal showcase - Guitar music by Villa-Lobos, reviewed by Robert Hugill. '... charming and creditable.'
CD Spotlight. A spectacular work - Post modernist music enjoyed by Rex Harley. '... Nicolella's tremendous virtuosity ...'
Record box. The Spanish Guitar - Ron Bierman listens to excerpts from previous Naxos releases
Record box - Keeping tracks. Basil Ramsey finds fresh guitar tracks to draw upon
Record box - Spring in his step. Diabelli entertains, with Basil Ramsey