NEW: 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.
CD Spotlight. Performed at the Vauxhall Gardens - Symphonies by eighteenth century British composer John Abraham Fisher, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Michael Halász and his Czech team are in exuberant form and their pleasantly flowing performances bring out all the charm, wit and cheerfulness of this lovely music.'
CD Spotlight. Unearthing Lost Cornerstones - John Dante Prevedini listens to music by seventeenth century composer Balthasar Erben. '... the disk itself becomes a curatorial introduction to the composer's entire life and work. The Coviello label evidently understands the weight of this responsibility very well ...'
CD Spotlight. Awesome Stuff - Gerald Fenech is impressed by Ilya Gringolts' performances of three violin concertos by Pietro Locatelli. 'Ilya Gringolts' playing is phenomenally spellbinding, and his scintillating virtuosity and flawless execution are absolute joys and wholly worthy of constant admiration.'
CD Spotlight. Strauss from the Antipodes - Giuseppe Pennisi reviews rarely-heard François Couperin orchestral transcriptions by Richard Strauss. '... good rendering by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra under Jun Märkl ...'
CD Spotlight. Fine and Engaging Harpsichord Music - Gerald Fenech listens to works by Gottlieb Muffat and George Frideric Handel. 'Flóra Fábri's technique is solid as a rock, and her judgement of rubato and ornamentation is absolutely unblemished.'
CD Spotlight. Christmas Night - Seventeenth and eighteenth century Italian festive music, strongly recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'This is a compilation full of craft and ingenuity ...'
CD Spotlight. Merriment and Joy - Music by Nicola Matteis, John Banister, Gottfried Finger, Matthew Locke and Johann Schop, warmly recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Elegant and full of warmth, these dances are imaginatively orchestrated and extremely well crafted, and the playing is wonderfully affective.'
CD Spotlight. The Sweetness of Life - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to harpsichord music by François Couperin. '... the key note is B flat major which at the time was an experimental, almost avant-garde tonality. Jory Vinikour shows it very well and demonstrates how Couperin was ahead of many other harpsichordists.'
CD Spotlight. Between Centuries and Cultures - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Johann Simon Mayr's 1814 opera 'Le due duchesse'. 'The richness is clear from the Sinfonia.'
CD Spotlight. In Tune with the Changing Times - Giuseppe Pennisi discovers the eighteenth century Neapolitan composer Girolamo Rossi. '... an important discovery.'
Ensemble. Music through Breath - Adrian Kelly talks to Christian Curnyn about Handel's 'Acis and Galatea' as part of the Buxton International Festival Digital 2020 Season, heard by Mike Wheeler
Classical music news - July 2020 Obituaries - Our summary of those the classical music world has lost this month
Ensemble. A Miracle in Ravenna - Giuseppe Pennisi reports from a modified Ravenna Festival
CD Spotlight. A Musical Goldmine - Gerald Fenech enjoys music by Giovanni Battista Vitali. '... gorgeously crafted music full of melodic sweetness and intensely passionate emotions.'
CD Spotlight. The Harpsichord's Newest Reincarnation - Ona Jarmalavičiūtė listens to twentieth century harpsichord concertos. 'Not many harpsichord players are as multifaceted and expressive as Jory Vinikour when interpreting modern music.'
CD Spotlight. Handel and the Roman Baroque School - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Lorenzo Tozzi's Romabarocca Ensemble. '... a precious CD from which to learn little known aspects of baroque music ...'
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.'
CD Spotlight. Fascination and Influence - Gerald Fenech is impressed by Lucille Boulanger and friends. 'The talented foursome heard here rise brilliantly to the hurdles presented and performances are consistently full of charm and warmth, wrapped up in an aura of unmitigated sensitivity.'
Ensemble. For Students to Complete? - Accademia Bizantina's 'The Art of Fugue' enthralls Rome and Giuseppe Pennisi
CD Spotlight. Profound Originality - Harpsichord music by Louis Couperin, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Christophe Rousset ... gives radiant performances full of charm and grace ...'
CD Spotlight. Absolutely Gorgeous - Harpsichord music by François Couperin, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... Bertrand Cuiller gives magical renditions of a number of Ordres, displaying with vigorous energy all the colour of sounds, alliterations, double meanings and parodies that these works encapsulate ...'
Ensemble. A Pleasure Garden - Two summer concerts on an evening in Rome, heard by Giuseppe Pennisi
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 ...'
CD Spotlight. Famous and Unknown - Music by Rameau, Philidor, Blavet, Guignon and Duphly, enjoyed by Gerald Fenech. '... an intensity and sweetness of tone that is consistently engaging.'
CD Spotlight. Splice the Mainbrace - Red Priest's 'Pirates of the Baroque', heard by the late Howard Smith. 'The foursome are outrageous, hugely entertaining, and Red Priest take no prisoners.'
CD Spotlight. A Fantastic Collection - Little-known harpsichord gems, strongly recommended by Alice McVeigh. '... succeeds utterly, as does the immaculately sensitive [Penelope] Cave.'
Ensemble. Sparkle and Brilliance - An exploration of the celebration and imitation of national styles, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Culturally Ambiguous - Tiara Ataii listens to British-Israeli countertenor Yaniv d'Or
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. Pure Python? - 'Wild Men of the Seicento', heard by Keith Bramich. '... Piers Adams and David Wright's superb performances exhibit a strangely infectious authenticity.'
CD Spotlight. Commanding the Passions - Sonatas by Francesco Barsanti, enjoyed by Gerald Fenech. '... performances are consistently versatile, accurate and poetic.'
CD Spotlight. Limited Soundscape - Music by Beth Anderson, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'The performances were well realized ...'
CD Spotlight. Imaginative Programming - Music for recorder and harpsichord from Denmark and the UK, recommended by Geoff Pearce. '... this partnership works very well musically ...'
CD Spotlight. Most Intriguing - Music by Rameau, heard by Robert Anderson. '... much sensitive playing from the whole team.'
CD Spotlight. Delectable Listening - Michala Petri plays Telemann, admired by Robert Anderson. 'The performance is indeed triumphant.'
CD Spotlight. Dramatic Effect - Harpsichord music by Handel, heard by Robert Anderson. '... exciting and eloquent throughout ...'
CD Spotlight. Chromatic Daring - Trio and keyboard sonatas by Charles Avison, heard by Robert Anderson. '... a eupeptic sense of well-being ...'
Ensemble. Santa Fe, The City Different - Maria Nockin enjoys the summer opera fare in North America's oldest capital city
DVD Spotlight. A Modern Orfeo - Music by Elodie Lauten, reviewed by Malcolm Tattersall. '... a pleasing half-hour chamber opera ...'
CD Spotlight. Equal Partners - Chamber music by Barbara Harbach, enjoyed by Ron Bierman. '... more humor than can be found in the entire oeuvre of many contemporary composers.'
Ensemble. Different Couples - English Touring Opera's 'La Clemenza di Tito', reviewed by Robert Hugill
CD Spotlight. A Strange Choice - Violin concertos by Vivaldi, heard by Howard Smith. '... reliable and persuasive ...'
Ensemble. A Memorable Programme - Bach Cantatas at London's Royal Academy of Music, heard by Malcolm Miller
Ensemble. Superb Pianism - A London recital by Julian Jacobson, heard by Robert Anderson
CD Spotlight. Firstrate Ensemble - Accompanied harpsichord sonatas by Charles Avison, recommended by Robert Anderson. '... both brilliant and sensitive ...'
Wondrously Expansive - Ronan Magill's recital at London's Wigmore Hall impresses Robert Anderson
CD Spotlight. Playing Rameau - Interpretations by Stephen Gutman, recommended by George Balcombe. '... not a million miles away from jazz.'
DVD Spotlight. A Glorious Time - Purcell's 'The Fairy Queen', recommended by Robert Anderson. '... tender expression and all requisite vim.'
Ask Alice - On songwriters and gamba sonatas, with classical music agony aunt Alice McVeigh
CD Spotlight. Thoughtfully Appealing - Judith Lambden plays J S Bach, heard by Howard Smith. '... a great deal to admire ...'
Ensemble. Clearly Important - The seventh Klavessiinfestival held in Tallinn, Estonia, attended by Peter Howell
Ensemble. Hilariously Funny - Arizona Opera's 'The Barber of Seville', appreciated by Maria Nockin
Ensemble. Delightful Contributions - Nicholas Kok conducts Sinfonia Viva, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Human Nature - A staged 'Così fan tutte' at Severance Hall in Cleveland, enjoyed by Kelly Ferjutz
CD Spotlight. Chicago Baroque - Trio Settecento's A German Bouquet, recommended by Malcolm Tattersall. '... very fine performances of some rarely heard but attractive music ...'
CD Spotlight. Nearly Unknown - Bologna's Renaissance music, heard by Giuseppe Pennisi. '... an efficient and effective local ensemble ...'
Ensemble. Sparks Really Flew - Mike Wheeler listens to the Denner Ensemble
CD Spotlight. Precocious and Talented - Music by Anna Bon di Venezia, heard by Ron Bierman. '... nuanced and cleanly articulated ...'
CD Spotlight. A Forthright Approach - J S Bach's St Matthew Passion, recommended by Howard Smith. '... the Ex Cathedra performance is a triumph.'
CD Spotlight. Robust and Spirited - James Tibbles plays J S Bach, heard by Howard Smith. '... worthy of widespread international recognition.'
Ensemble. Thoughtfully Conceived - James Judd conducts Handel's 'Messiah', reviewed by Lawrence Budmen
Ensemble. Style and Drama - Gluck's 'Alceste', heard by Robert Hugill
CD Spotlight. Splendidly Performed - Baroque music for cello, recommended by Howard Smith. 'An exemplary CD ...'
CD Spotlight. The Gamba Problem - Music by J S Bach, heard by George Balcombe. '... a number of oddities ...'
CD Spotlight. Intense Expressiveness - Music from Venice, reviewed by George Balcombe. '... an amazing display of eighteen short pieces ...'
Ask Alice - On parents and prose style, with classical music agony aunt Alice McVeigh
Ensemble. Profoundly Beautiful - William Christie's 'Dido and Aeneas' impresses Robert Hugill
Ask Alice - The truth about bishops and priests, with classical music agony aunt Alice McVeigh
Ensemble. Brilliant Opportunities - A Rossini double bill, reviewed by Robert Hugill
CD Spotlight. Exceptional Assurance - J S Bach organ sonatas, heard by Howard Smith. '... an immensely satisfying conclusion.'
CD Spotlight. Diversely Experienced - Music for bassoon, harpsichord and double bass, impresses Howard Smith. '... an outright "tour de force".'
Ensemble. Excellent Throughout - A lunchtime piano recital by Maiko Mori, heard by Bill Newman
CD Spotlight. Deceptive Naturalness - Red Priest's 'Nightmare in Venice', entertains Howard Smith. '... irrepressible, chic ...'
CD Spotlight. Simply Dazzling - Piazzolla and Vivaldi's 'Four Seasons', heard by Robert Hugill. '... I rather missed the sound of the bandoneon ...'
CD Spotlight. Highly Stimulating - Harpsichord music by Israeli composers, reviewed by Gerald Fenech. '... admirably played ...'
Record Box. Utmost Subtlety - Seung-Un Ha plays Bach's Goldberg Variations, reviewed by Robert Anderson
Ensemble. Profoundly Satisfying - 'Theodora' at the London Handel Festival, enjoyed by Robert Hugill
Ensemble. A Rich Sound - Handel's 'Samson', enjoyed by Robert Hugill
CD Spotlight. Bold and Inventive - Charles Avison's reworkings of Scarlatti, enjoyed by Robert Anderson. 'Avison's deployment of massed strings is wonderfully effective ...'
Ensemble. A Delicate Balance - Cavalli's 'La Calisto', reviewed by Robert Hugill
CD Spotlight. Refreshingly Innovative - Music by John Beckwith, reviewed by Natalie Artemas-Polak. '... an important voice in Canadian music ...'
Record Box. Doubled Concertos - Malcolm Tattersall listens to Bach
Le grand clavecin - The sixth Harpsichord Festival (Klavessiinifestival) in Tallinn, Estonia, 10-15 April 2008, attended by Peter G Howell
Rui dos Reis - Jennifer Paull interviews and investigates the Portuguese composer-pianist
CD Spotlight. A Definitive View - Imbi Tarum plays French Baroque harpsichord music, recommended by Peter G Howell. 'The playing is superb ...'
CD Spotlight. Unfamiliar Territory - Mike Hall plays baroque music on alto trombone, reviewed by Malcolm Tattersall. '... a voyage of discovery ...'
Ensemble. Arresting Playing - A recital by Althea Ifeka and Katherine May, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Musical riches - A new recording of François Couperin's complete works for harpsichord, appreciated by Rex Harley. '... formidable technique and the deftest of touches.'
CD Spotlight. A delightful airing - The keyboard music of Matthew Locke, reviewed by Robert Anderson. '... crisp and lively ...'
CD Spotlight. Carefree brilliance - The keyboard music of Orlando Gibbons, enjoyed by Robert Anderson. '... technique and panache ...'
CD Spotlight. Couperin sorted - The 'Pièces de Clavecin', played in order of progressive difficulty, investigated by Ron Bierman. '... valuable for piano students.'
A man of many talents - Jennifer Paull pays tribute to Igor Kipnis, who died on 24 January 2002
Record box - No piano on that one. Basil Ramsey overhears musicians getting together