CD Spotlight. Absolutely Fantastic - Music by Schnittke for violin and piano, recommended by Geoff Pearce. 'The performances are great all round, and this is a useful addition to anyone's collection.'
Ensemble. Change of Perspective - Mike Wheeler reviews Sinfonia Viva's streamed performance from Chatsworth House in Derbyshire, UK
Classical music news - March 2021 Obituaries - Our summary of those the classical music world has lost this month
Classical music news. The Schoenberg Effect - The Berlin-based Notos Quartett's second album, devoted to Brahms, will be released on Sony Classical this month
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.'
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. Enigmatic yet Fascinating - Music by Rued Langgaard for violin and piano, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'The conclusion of a visionary cycle that is worthy of serious attention.'
Classical music news - Dreams of a New Day - Cedille Records announces new releases for 2021
Classical music news. Obituary - John Georgiadis (1939-2021)
Classical music news - January 2021 Obituaries - Our summary of those the classical music world has lost this month
Ensemble. A Fun-loving Tradition - New York Metropolitan Opera's New Year's Eve Gala Concert, reviewed by Maria Nockin
Classical music news. Obituary - Ivry Gitlis (1922-2020)
CD Spotlight. A Tango Like You've Never Heard Before - Ona Jarmalavičiūtė listens to music by Kuljit Bhamra and Davide Giovannini. '... always colorful, never boring, even though at times overflowing with impressions.'
CD Spotlight. Six Composers, Piano, Strings and Voice - Ona Jarmalavičiūtė listens to works by six female composers. '... performed profoundly ...'
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.'
CD Spotlight. Quietly Ambiguous - Stephen Francis Vasta feels vaguely let down by Mami Shikimori and the Wihan Quartet's performances of Fauré and Franck. '... wonderfully committed and incisive playing.'
CD Spotlight. Górecki's Strings - Giuseppe Pennisi compares two recent recordings of Górecki string quartets. '... Quatuor Molinari has a more melancholic approach than the Tippett Quartet.'
Profile. Until Dawn - Ona Jarmalavičiūtė talks to Austrian composer, violinist and lecturer Thomas Wally
Ensemble. Engagingly Vigorous - Mike Wheeler watches 'Nottingham Stories: Separation and Serenade', a series of videos created by Carmen Flores, director of Nottingham Chamber Music Festival
CD Spotlight. Hallmarks of a Troubled Mindset - Patrick Maxwell listens critically to the Fitzwilliam String Quartet's Schubert. 'This CD holds within some extremely heart-rending, joyous and emotionally infused music, played by some wonderful individual players.'
CD Spotlight. Beethoven the Innovator - Cuarteto Casals plays a selection of Beethoven string quartets, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi. 'All of the highest quality.'
CD Spotlight. In Tune with the Changing Times - Giuseppe Pennisi discovers the eighteenth century Neapolitan composer Girolamo Rossi. '... an important discovery.'
CD Spotlight. Ostentatiously Evocative - Vadim Gluzman plays music by Pēteris Vasks, heard by Patrick Maxwell. 'The music on this impressive recording deserves much larger recognition ...'
Ensemble. The Weather and The Light - Maria Nockin reports on Aleksandra Kurzak and Roberto Alagna's recital for 'Met Stars Live in Concert'
Profile. Connecting the Natural and Human Worlds - Ona Jarmalavičiūtė talks to the Welsh composer Hilary Tann
CD Spotlight. Youthful Influences - Early string quartets by William Alwyn, heard by Patrick Maxwell. '... carried off with impressive dexterity by the players ...'
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. 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. Highly Effective - Gerald Fenech listens to miniatures by William Mathias. '... splendid and sweetly unaffected performances ...'
Classical music news - February 2020 Obituaries - Our summary of those the classical music world lost last month
Ensemble. Compositional Fury - More Beethoven string quartets in Rome, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
CD Spotlight. Interesting and Varied - New music from Apollo Chamber Players, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'The performances are committed and enjoyable.'
CD Spotlight. Exquisite Pacing - Gerald Fenech listens to Mendelssohn's String Symphonies. 'Michi Gaigg and his Baroque Orchestra deliver performances full of charm and beauty ...'
CD Spotlight. Jewel in the Scottish Musical Crown - Ona Jarmalavičiūtė is impressed by Mr McFall's Chamber. '... a vivid kaleidoscope of impromptu freely expressed creativity.'
CD Spotlight. Highly Enjoyable - Patrick Maxwell listens to Brahms from the Primrose Piano Quartet. '... the playing is meticulous and the overall effect magnificent.'
Ensemble. Finely Balanced - Mozart, Shostakovich and Beethoven, played by the Artesian String Quartet, and heard by Mike Wheeler
Classical music news. Obituary - Hansheinz Schneeberger (1926-2019)
CD Spotlight. Thoroughly Engaging - Piano quartets by Andrew Anderson, heard by Geoff Pearce. '... compelling and unique.'
Classical music news. Adrian Williams - The English Symphony Orchestra announces Adrian Williams as its John McCabe Composer-in-Association for 2019/20
CD Spotlight. Spiritual and Emotional Depth - Piano trios from the Delphi Trio by Beethoven, Brahms and Bolcom, recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'An invigorating mixture of past and present, brilliantly executed and sumptuously recorded, which is truly worth investigating.'
CD Spotlight. An Emotional Journey? - Geoff Pearce listens to music for solo instruments and orchestra. 'The performance is very tight and exciting.'
Ensemble. Exemplary Clarity - Haydn, Glass and Beethoven from the Marmen Quartet, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Venus Unwrapped - Keith Bramich is impressed by Noriko Ogawa, Kenneth Woods and the strings of the English Symphony Orchestra
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
CD Spotlight. Very Interesting and Original - Geoff Pearce listens to chamber music by John McCabe and David Ellis. '... superb performances delivered by the Camerata Ensemble.'
Classical music news. Rosalie Coopman - Brixworth Music Festival announces the winner of its International Competition for Women Composers
Ensemble. A Children's Game - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to special Rossini in a special place
Ensemble. Pin-point Delicacy and Precision - Mike Wheeler is impressed by the Eblana String Trio
Ensemble. An Odd Couple? - Kurtág and Brahms in concert, heard by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. For Students to Complete? - Accademia Bizantina's 'The Art of Fugue' enthralls Rome and Giuseppe Pennisi
CD Spotlight. Melting Ice - Music from glaciers by Matthew Burtner, recommended by Keith Bramich. '... a slightly romanticised account of the effects of climate change in the far north, which doesn't affect the pure beauty, and often sadness, of these vivid and intriguing natural sound recordings and ideas.'
Ensemble. Collective Flair - Haydn, Bartók and Dvorák from the Zelkova Quartet impress Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Not an Obvious Connection - Debussy and Jazz, heard by Paul Sarcich. 'For those with wide enough ears it will be an attractive and thought-provoking listen.'
CD Spotlight. A Heady Immediacy - Orchestral music by Erich Wolfgang Korngold impresses Gerald Fenech. 'Rohde and his forces dish out some truly magisterial interpretations full of spirited playing and athletic grace ...'
Ensemble. An Upgrade - Sinfonia Viva's string section, directed by Benedict Holland, begins the Derby Folk Festival, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Strong on Fascination - Music by Andrew Paul Macdonald, heard by the late Howard Smith. '... excellent performances/production values ...'
Ensemble. Distinct Possibilities - Mike Wheeler listens to Haydn and Bach from the Emanon Ensemble in Derby Cathedral
Ensemble. An Odd Couple? - Music from Japan and Portugal at Rome's 'Opus' Festival, heard by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Late Romanticism - Giuseppe Pennisi is moved by Richard Strauss and Schoenberg played by the Stradivari Sextet
Ensemble. Debussy Perspective - Giuseppe Pennisi samples a concert series marking the one hundredth anniversary of the French composer's death
Ensemble. Bartók Pizzicato Gun Shots - Vivaldi, Edgar Meyer and Beethoven from Joshua Bell and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields impress Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Absolutely Superb - The Altius Quartet plays Shostakovich, recommended by Geoff Pearce. 'I hope that the Altius Quartet goes on to record the whole cycle, and perhaps the Piano Quintets and Trios as well. This is a very fine ensemble of exciting young musicians.'
CD Spotlight. Very Satisfying - Chamber music by Gerard Schurmann impresses Geoff Pearce. 'This fine performance is taut, accurate and driven.'
Ensemble. Too Many Notes? - Mike Wheeler listens to Dohnányi, Mozart and Brahms from the Rogeri Ensemble
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. Telling Clarity - Telemann concertos impress Gerald Fenech. '... in the Berliners' hands Telemann's music sounds even more trailblazing than maybe the composer intended.'
CD Spotlight. Brilliantly Performed - Mozart chamber music, highly recommended by Geoff Pearce. 'One cannot fault the playing on this lovely disc ...'
CD Spotlight. Winds of Change - Edward Gardner conducts Elgar, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Edward Gardner gives revelatory accounts of both works, always keeping in check the emotional element, but when the occasion warrants, he lets the music sweep us off our feet.'
CD Spotlight. A Versatile Composer - Music by Geoffrey Hanson, recommended by Geoff Pearce. 'Performances are superb and everyone is a standout.'
Ensemble. High Ambitions - Michael Landes was at the American Protégé Winners' recital on 14 May 2017 in Carnegie Hall
CD Spotlight. Sheer Beauty - Dvorák serenades, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Performances by the Czech Nonet ... and the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields conducted by Neville Marriner ... are exemplary, and all the colourful harmonies and exuberant rhythms are brought out with a virtuosity that is quite unmatchable.'
Ensemble. An Outstanding Example - Co-operation between the Sitwell Singers and Derby Chamber Music, featuring music by John Tavener, Bruckner and Beethoven, impresses Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Beautiful Tone - Glazunov and Taneyev String Quintets, enjoyed by Stephen Francis Vasta. '... the Gringolts ensemble plays expertly, projecting the music's sense of "symphonic" weight and importance while maintaining the vivid interplay among the parts.'
CD Spotlight. Celebrity Bass - Music for strings by Domenico Dragonetti, heard by the late Howard Smith. 'John Feeney reveals double bass capabilities required of a symphony orchestra's lowest strings once in a blue moon.'
CD Spotlight. Gorgeously Irresistible - Piano quintets by Granados and Turina, strongly recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... an almost instinctive sense of interplay between the players ...'
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.'
Ensemble. Sheer Enjoyment - Haydn, Bartók and Dvorák from the Chilingirian Quartet, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Sparkle and Brilliance - An exploration of the celebration and imitation of national styles, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Magical Stillness - The Elias Quartet plays at Buxton, reviewed 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. Pulsating Energy - Chamber music by Joaquín Turina impresses Gerald Fenech. '... wonderfully characterized and atmospheric readings ...'
CD Spotlight. Totally Cohesive - Mozart and Brahms clarinet quintets, heard by Geoff Pearce. '... a gem of a disc ...'
Ensemble. Wit and Effervescence - Music in the Time of Goya, by Derek Murray
CD Spotlight. Feisty and Wiry - Music by Fernando Lopes-Graça, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Performances are wholly committed ...'
Ensemble. A Compelling Musical Experience - Beethoven, Bartók and Tchaikovsky from the Eeden Quartet, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Worth Acquiring - Bridge Chamber Virtuosi, heard by the late Howard Smith. 'From start to finish, an exhilarating recording.'
Ensemble. A Long Musical Summer - Giuseppe Pennisi attended the Chigiana International Festival in Siena
Ensemble. Poise and Elegance - Tchaikovsky and Mozart from the English Chamber Orchestra, enjoyed by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Truly Superlative - Music by twentieth century women composers impresses Geoff Pearce. '... the Trio des Alpes is committed and convincing ...'
CD Spotlight. Something Transcendent - Music performed by A Far Cry, heard by Howard Smith. '... evidently capable hands ...'
CD Spotlight. Imaginative Programming - Zenia Löffler's Venetian concerti impress Geoff Pearce. 'This disc will not fail to please ...'
Ensemble. Barnstorming Mendelssohn - Mike Wheeler listens to the Aquinas Piano Trio
CD Spotlight. Considerable Substance - Contemporary music for cello, heard by Howard Smith. '... Marinescu ... appears to have the measure of each work on offer here.'
Ensemble. Delicate Sensitivity - The Innovation Chamber Ensemble at Buxton, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Extremely Well-crafted - British music for oboe and strings, heard by Patric Standford. '... a particularly valuable contribution to the catalogue.'
Ensemble. Uniquely Memorable - The Kronos Quartet at the BBC Proms, heard by Malcolm Miller
CD Spotlight. Melodic Best - Recent concerti for strings, heard by Ron Bierman. 'Warmly recommended.'
CD Spotlight. Revealing Bach - The Goldberg Variations and The Art of Fugue, heard by George Balcombe. '... musical richness and instrumental knowledge ...'
CD Spotlight. Great Performances - Dvorák's Cello and Piano Concertos, heard by Stephen Francis Vasta. '... it's a pleasure to hear Mstislav Rostropovich at this early stage of his career ...'
CD Spotlight. Distinct Insights - Dejan Lazic plays Beethoven, heard by Howard Smith. '... a crisp, vernal, excellently deliniated performance ...'
Ensemble. The Wizard from Oz - David Arditti attends a celebration for the fiftieth anniversary of the death of Percy Grainger
Ensemble. Richly Expressive - The Cleveland Orchestra begins its annual South Florida residency, by Lawrence Budmen
CD Spotlight. Knowledge and Imagination - Lavinia Meijer plays recent music for harp, and impresses Paul Sarcich. '... an exceptional player ...'
Ensemble. A Memorable Programme - Bach Cantatas at London's Royal Academy of Music, heard by Malcolm Miller
CD Spotlight. Brave Assurance - Elmar Oliveira plays J S Bach, heard by Robert Anderson. '... full and vibrant ...'
CD Spotlight. A Noteworthy Introduction - Music by Stravinsky for violin and piano, heard by Howard Smith. '... refreshing naturalness ...'
CD Spotlight. Expressive Power - Vivaldi oboe concertos, heard by Robert Anderson. '... faultlessly delivered ...'
Ensemble. Delightfully Entertaining - Mozart, Schubert and Weill, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Growing Up - Hans Werner Henze's 'Pollicino' thrills children and adults in Florence, by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Hugely Satisfying - As New Zealand arts funding strikes a sour note, Howard Smith listens to the Vector Wellington Orchestra
Ensemble. Intensely Gripping - Bizet, Richard Strauss and Vaughan Williams from Mark Elder and the Hallé Orchestra, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Marvelously Incisive - Rózsa and Korngold violin concertos, recommended by Howard Smith. '... breathtaking virtuosity from soloist and orchestra alike.'
CD Spotlight. A Vigorous Spirit - Music by Matthew Taylor, heard by Patric Standford. '... skill and personality in equal measures ...'
CD Spotlight. Clearly Etched - Violin concerti by Vieuxtemps, heard by Stephen Francis Vasta. '... crisp ensemble and warm, full tone ...'
CD Spotlight. Sheer Delight - Table music by Biber, recommended by Patric Standford. '... a superb and sensitive performance ...'
CD Spotlight. Quite Orgiastic - Petrenko conducts Shostakovich, recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... very much on the ball ...'
Ensemble. Performance to Cherish - Lawrence Budmen submits a further report from the Tanglewood Festival 2010
CD Spotlight. A Curate's Egg - Light music from Turkey, heard by Howard Smith. '... colourful, exotic and hugely entertaining ...'
CD Spotlight. Strength and Lyricism - Chamber music by Hugh Wood, heard by Patric Standford. '... taut stamina.'
CD Spotlight. Finely Judged - Brahms and Schumann piano quartets, heard by Robert Anderson. 'This is music-making both sensitive and relaxed.'
Ensemble. Real Poise - Sinfonia Viva at the Buxton Festival, enjoyed by Mike Wheeler
Profile. Finding the Right Voice - Maria Nockin talks to American composer Daniel Catán
CD Spotlight. Gentle Passions - Music by John Jeffreys, heard by Patric Standford. '... beautifully paced ...'
DVD Spotlight. A Glorious Time - Purcell's 'The Fairy Queen', recommended by Robert Anderson. '... tender expression and all requisite vim.'
CD Spotlight. Programmatic Titles - Piano music by John Pitts, heard by Patric Standford. 'The performances by Steven Kings are excellent ...'
Ensemble. Pushing Back the Boundaries - London Sinfonietta's 'British Experiments', reviewed by Chris Graham
DVD Spotlight. A Little Wizardry - Purcell's 'Dido and Aeneas', recommended by Robert Anderson. '... the playing is stylish and alert throughout.'
Ensemble. Atmosphere is Everything - Weber's 'Der Freischütz', reviewed by Robert Hugill
Ensemble. In Complete Command - Britten's 'The Company of Heaven' and Renaissance Polyphony, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. A Wide-ranging Discourse - Sinfonia Viva plays Beethoven, Anna Meredith, Nico Muhly, Ravel and Schumann, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Highly-Charged - Joyce Yang, Edo de Waart and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, reviewed by Rebecca Schmid
CD Spotlight. Appealingly Straightforward - Music by Barbara Harbach, warmly recommended by Ron Bierman. '... a worthwhile introduction to a valuable contemporary composer ...'
DVD Spotlight. Tragic Power - Handel's 'Tamerlano', reviewed by Robert Anderson. 'The simplicity of the production is welcome ...'
CD Spotlight. Great Poise - Petrenko conducts Shostakovich symphonies, recommended by Paul Sarcich. '... care and thoughtfulness ...'
CD Spotlight. Beauty of Timbre - Vivica Genaux sings Vivaldi, heard by Maria Nockin. 'Genaux's diction is excellent ...'
Ensemble. Crystalline Lightness - A Symphony of the Americas concert, reviewed by Lawrence Budmen
Ensemble. Imagination and Strength - Celebrating the Mendelssohn anniversary at Mannes College, reported by Anna L Franco
Ensemble. Lively and Spirited - A performance by Haydn Trio Eisenstadt, heard by Rebecca Schmid
A Model of Clarity - A new score of Elgar's 'Mina', appraised by Robert Anderson
CD Spotlight. The Gamba Problem - Music by J S Bach, heard by George Balcombe. '... a number of oddities ...'
CD Spotlight. A Stimulating Recital - Contemporary music for oboe and ensemble, heard by Patric Standford. '... a wide range of interest.'
CD Spotlight. A Rare Collection - The collected 78rpm recordings of Peter Warlock, heard by Patric Standford. '... some interesting and revealing performances.'
Ask Alice - On parents and prose style, with classical music agony aunt Alice McVeigh
CD Spotlight. Deft and Brilliant - Sibelius orchestral music, recommended by Robert Anderson. '... in the safest of hands.'
CD Spotlight. Mozart across Niagara - Peter Hatch's 'Wiki Mozart' delights Jennifer Paull. '... an intoxicating cocktail.'
CD Spotlight. Sacrificing the 'unmodern' - Music by Julius Röntgen and Per Nørgård, heard by George Balcombe. 'How could any audience resist ... ?'
CD Spotlight. Formidable Pianism - Beethoven arranged by Liszt, heard by Robert Anderson
Ensemble. Elemental Music - Malcolm Miller listens to music-theatre works by Harrison Birtwistle
Ensemble. Thought-provoking - Music by Harle and Maxwell Davies, heard by Malcolm Miller
CD Spotlight. Sensuality and Freedom - Stokowski conducts Schubert and Dvorák, heard by Béla Hartmann. '... one is never left in any doubt as to the force of the conductor ...'
Ensemble. Simply Magical - Mike Wheeler listens to Haydn, Sibelius and Mendelssohn played by the Hallé Orchestra
A Major Pleasure - A new study score of Elgar's 'Empire March', reviewed by Robert Anderson
Record Box. A Theoretician's Knowledge - Andrew Violette's Sonata for unaccompanied violin, reviewed by Howard Smith
Record Box. Stirring Performances - String chamber music by Imogen Holst, recommended by Gerald Fenech
Record Box. An Evolving Technique - Music by Aaron Jay Kernis, recommended by Ron Bierman
Record box. Rarely-heard Vivaldi - Concertos played by Ensemble Guidantus, reviewed by Malcolm Tattersall