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
CD Spotlight. Freshness and Vigour - Robert McCarney listens to music by British composer Robert Saxton. 'This is a very well prepared and presented disc that does an excellent job of providing a portrait of the composer.'
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. Handel vs Bononcini - Mike Wheeler listens to the English Concert and soprano Anna Dennis at the Buxton Festival
CD Spotlight. Effective and Uncomplicated - Geoff Pearce listens to chamber music by New Zealand composer Eric Biddington. 'These performances are a great testament to the Christchurch music making scene and to the composer who has been an important part of it.'
Ensemble. Three Days at the Ravenna Summer Festival - Giuseppe Pennisi reports from 'The Italian Salzburg'
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
Classical music news. No Russian Music? - Should we ban Tchaikovsky because of Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine?
CD Spotlight. Finely Wrought - Symphonies by Johann Baptist Vaňhal, recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Michael Halász conducts with the usual panache, drawing committed performances full of zest and swagger from the Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra.'
Ensemble. Fresh and Appealing - Mike Wheeler listens to the Françaix Wind Trio
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 ...'
CD Spotlight. An Exemplary Partnership - Geoff Pearce is impressed by Mozart Violin Sonatas transcribed and played by oboist Olivier Stankiewicz, accompanied by Jonathan Ware. '... the performances here are astounding.'
Classical music news - March 2021 Obituaries - Our summary of those the classical music world has lost this month
CD Spotlight. Great Entertainment - SOMM Recordings' second volume of film music, enjoyed by Gerald Fenech. 'Iain Sutherland and his Promenade players display no want of energy and each track is tackled with effervescence and enthusiasm, making the music sound even more exciting than it was thought to be.'
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. 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. Judged to Perfection - Baroque oboe sonatas played by Xenia Löffler, strongly recommended by Geoff Pearce. '... played very pleasingly with great style and panache by all instruments concerned.'
Profile. Stream of Consciousness - Ona Jarmalavičiūtė talks to Canadian oboist and composer Elizabeth Raum
CD Spotlight. Something of Rare Beauty - Twentieth century oboe sonatas by York Bowen, Petr Eben, Henri Dutilleux, Eugène Bozza, Francis Poulenc and Camille Saint-Saëns, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'What a fantastic and inspiring team Alex Klein and Phillip Bush make.'
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.'
Ensemble. Colour and Energy - An uppity chicken, a cuckoo and much more ... Stravinsky, J S Bach, Respighi and Mendelssohn from Maddy Aldis-Evans, Benedict Holland, Frank Zielhorst and Sinfonia Viva impress Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. A Rare Outing - Poulenc, Vaughan Williams and Beethoven from the Derby Concert Orchestra, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Strong on Fascination - Music by Andrew Paul Macdonald, heard by the late Howard Smith. '... excellent performances/production values ...'
CD Spotlight. Poetic Inspirations - Music for oboe, viola and piano, heard by the late Howard Smith. 'Here ... is a chamber music CD qualifying emphatically as "a must" for eager music lovers everywhere. It doesn't get any better.'
Ensemble. A Deep Impression - Less well-known music for oboe and piano played by James Turnbull and Libby Burgess, appreciated by Mike Wheeler
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. 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. Brilliantly Performed - Mozart chamber music, highly recommended by Geoff Pearce. 'One cannot fault the playing on this lovely disc ...'
Ensemble. An Attractive Sound-world - Mike Wheeler listens to the Thorne Trio
Ensemble. Particularly Sombre - Mark Elder and the Hallé Orchestra commemorate The Battle of the Somme, heard by Mike Wheeler
Dancing Energy - Haydn, Mozart and Paul Patterson from Adam Mackenzie, Emily Pailthorpe and Sinfonia Viva impress Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Sympathetic and Inventive - Music by Ferenc Farkas for oboe and strings, heard by Paul Sarcich. 'The Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra performs with obvious care and commitment ...'
CD Spotlight. A Fine Programme - Vaughan Williams and MacMillan oboe concertos, recommended by Howard Smith. '... superb performances ideally recorded.'
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. Imaginative Programming - Zenia Löffler's Venetian concerti impress Geoff Pearce. 'This disc will not fail to please ...'
A Tremendous Creative Output - Geoff Pearce muses on the career of Peter Sculthorpe
Sameness in Performance? - Geoff Pearce asks if we've lost something precious in our search for perfection, and argues for a return to national styles of playing
CD Spotlight. Extremely Well-crafted - British music for oboe and strings, heard by Patric Standford. '... a particularly valuable contribution to the catalogue.'
CD Spotlight. Consummate Skill - Music for newly designed oboes impresses Patric Standford. '... as fascinating and challenging as it is revelatory.'