Ensemble. Familiar Pieces Heard Afresh - Mike Wheeler has some thoughtful comments on a performance by Tasmin Little, Duncan Riddell, Thierry Fischer and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
CD Spotlight. Strengths and Weaknesses - Gerald Fenech listens to orchestral music by Max von Schillings. 'A very fine addition to CPO's ongoing advocacy of Schillings' oeuvre in detailed notes and exemplary sonics.'
CD Spotlight. Dazzling Virtuosity - Mendelssohn concertos from the Stankov Ensemble and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, highly recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Exceptionally beautiful music, sparklingly performed, sumptuously recorded, with a very insightful essay thrown in for good measure.'
Classical music news - January Obituaries - Our summary of those the classical music world lost last month
Ensemble. Vaughan Williams and Jazz? - Mike Wheeler listens to a talk from Stephen Johnson, and to two works by Vaughan Williams played by John Wilson and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
Ensemble. A Remarkable Partnership - Mike Wheeler listens to music for violin and piano by Mozart, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Wieniawski/Gounod and Debussy/Heifetz from Emmanuel Bach and Jennifer Hughes
CD Spotlight. Fresh and Engaging - Villa-Lobos, Bax and Bolcom from Kerry Duwors and Futaba Niekawa, recommended by Geoff Pearce. '... the sheer musicianship, combined with flawless technique and imaginative programming, never fails to impress me.'
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.'
Classical music news. Beethoven in his Time - Registration has begun for a new international competition for historical performance practice
CD Spotlight. Fresh and Natural - Leila Schayegh plays Vivaldi's 'Four Seasons', heard by Gerald Fenech. '... she succeeds brilliantly with some magical playing full of "joie de vivre" and silhouetted tone painting.'
Classical music news. Obituary - Hansheinz Schneeberger (1926-2019)
Ensemble. He'll Be Back - Fabien Gabel conducts the Hallé Orchestra, impressing Mike Wheeler
Piquant Ensemble. Contrasts - A cello and violin recital by Katherine Jenkinson and Ning Kam, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Blaringly Unusual - Maria Nockin listens to Pittance Chamber Music's opening concert
CD Spotlight. Thoroughly Engaging - Piano quartets by Andrew Anderson, heard by Geoff Pearce. '... compelling and unique.'
Ensemble. Breathless Excitement - In the last of his reports from the 2019 Buxton Festival, Mike Wheeler listens to music by Jean-Féry Rebel, Telemann, Marco Ucellini, J S Bach, and an improvisation on 'La Folìa', played by Improviso
Ensemble. Simply Exhilarating - Music for violin and piano by César Franck and Camille Saint-Saëns from Hungarian duo Boglárka György and Brigitta Sveda impresses Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Particularly Thrilling - Music for strings by Alfonso Romero Asenjo intrigues Geoff Pearce. 'It showcases the composer's skill in writing for strings, and at the same time one can sense his development as a composer.'
Ensemble. From the Poignant to the Zany - Russian-born musicians Yulia Northridge and Ekaterina Shetliffe, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. An Impressive Joint Local Debut - Alex Binns and Dora Chatzigeorgiou step in with a Derby Cathedral recital, following a sudden last-minute cancellation, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. An Emotional Journey? - Geoff Pearce listens to music for solo instruments and orchestra. 'The performance is very tight and exciting.'
CD Spotlight. A Thrilling Musical Discovery - Violin Concertos by Giovanni Giornovich, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Bojan Čičić has this repertoire in his blood, and this shows in performances of exhilarating beauty.'
Ensemble. All About Collaboration - Music by Steve Reich impresses Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. A Children's Game - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to special Rossini in a special place
CD Spotlight. Two Fine Violinists - Stephen Francis Vasta listens to music by Erich Wolfgang Korngold. 'Even the Violin Concerto ends with a downward chordal scale that 'resolves' to a dissonance, "à la" Charles Ives!'
Music in Kentish Town - Endre Anaru looks forward to an orchestral concert in London later this week featuring the first performance of a new Canadian violin concerto
Ensemble. The Homely and the Cosmic - Two concerts from Nicholas Kok and Sinfonia Viva, enjoyed by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. A Certain Affinity - Extraordinary violin sonatas, recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Auerbach and Pierce give scintillating performances throughout ...'
Ensemble. Diction and Projection - A performance by The Hills Singers impresses Keith Bramich
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
CD Spotlight. Attractive Creations - Violin duets by Louis Spohr, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... charming yet exhilarating performances full of subtle touches of colour and textural variety ...'
CD Spotlight. Inherent Sincerity - Violin and piano music by Oskar Morawetz, heard by the late Howard Smith. 'In committed, firmly etched performances, violinist Jasper Wood with pianist David Riley present a strong case for home listeners keen to explore unfamiliar violin music of the recent past.'
Ensemble. A New Venture - Mike Wheeler listens to Brahms, Elgar, Haydn, Parry, Philip Moore, Purcell, Rutter, Stanford and Vivaldi from Derby Cathedral Choir
Ensemble. Genuine Insights - Lizzie Ball and Morgan Szymanski at the Buxton Festival impress Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Gut-wrenching Performance - Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich from Arabella Steinbacher, Michael Sanderling and the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Freshness and Enthusiasm - Early music by Richard Strauss impresses Gerald Fenech. '... full of sunny and exuberant musical tone painting which gives a huge uplift in spirits ...'
CD Spotlight. Beautiful Writing - Music by Kara Karayev, heard by Geoff Pearce. '... I think this composer will become more widely known - he certainly deserves to be, if these two quite contrasting and original works are anything to go by.'
Ensemble. A Lucid Sound-world - Mendelssohn, Brahms and Beethoven from Viviane Hagner, Karina Canellakis and the Hallé Orchestra, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Tender and Charming - Lisa Batiashvili plays Prokofiev, enjoyed by Giuseppe Pennisi
CD Spotlight. Empathetic Performances - Beethoven and Clement violin concertos, heard by the late Howard Smith. '... Barton-Pine's faultlessly sculpted performance is unequivocally persuasive ...'
CD Spotlight. Movingly Realized - Hindson, Corigliano and Liszt played by Lara St John, heard by the late Howard Smith. 'As the grinding sounds of industry and sweeping whoosh of turbine blades recede, St John distances her tone for the central lyrical episode ...'
Ensemble. An Exceptional Violinist - Lisa Batiashvili plays Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto, and Giuseppe Pennisi is impressed
CD Spotlight. Diverse Elements - Music by Duruflé and Respighi attracts Gerald Fenech. '... passionate and wholly committed performance ...'
Ensemble. A Joy to Hear - Michael Foyle and Maksim Stsura play Beethoven, Franck and Elgar, impressing Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Richly Nourished - Hebrew music from violinist Maurice Sklar, heard by the late Howard Smith. 'Sklar's inspirational concert is faithful from start to finish.'
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. Concerts in Bucharest - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Russian orchestral music at the George Enescu Festival
CD Spotlight. Impelling Drama - Arensky and Taneyev for violin and orchestra, heard by the late Howard Smith. '... Gringolts shows both purity of line and precise, mercurial bravura.'
CD Spotlight. Rising Stars - Dmitri Shostakovich's complete concertos, recommended by Geoff Pearce. '... unreservedly first class, not just for the technical prowess of the soloists and orchestra but also in the artistic vision of all involved.'
CD Spotlight. Violinistic Aggression - Herwig Zack, heard by the late Howard Smith. 'Others are more brilliant but few, if any, more powerful.'
CD Spotlight. Bring back Wieniawski! - Kelly Hall-Tompkins' violin recital, heard by the late Howard Smith. '... a sparkling account ...'
CD Spotlight. Highly Stirring - Vadim Gluzman plays Brahms, heard by Lucas Ball. 'Gluzman and Yoffe are at their most energetic and communicative.'
Ensemble. Piquant Contrast - Mike Wheeler listens to Schulhoff and Tchaikovsky from members of the Fibonacci Sequence
Ensemble. High Ambitions - Michael Landes was at the American Protégé Winners' recital on 14 May 2017 in Carnegie Hall
CD Spotlight. A Superb Account - Tchaikovsky for violin and orchestra, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'The young and celebrated Korean virtuoso Moonkyung Lee is fast making a name for herself on both sides of the Atlantic, and these performances confirm all the wonderful reviews that are being written about her.'
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. Masterly Fusion - Tchaikovsky's music for violin and orchestra impresses Gerald Fenech. 'The American violinist Jennifer Koh interprets these testing pieces with dazzling virtuosity and passionate exuberance, and the Violin Concerto in particular is one of the most exciting renditions I have heard in recent times.'
CD Spotlight. Brilliantly Performed - Music by Halvorsen, Nielsen and Svendsen impresses Gerald Fenech. 'Henning Kraggerud's technical brilliance lends a balanced fluidity to all three works, and each is allowed to betray all the enterprising orchestral colours hidden within each score.'
CD Spotlight. Innate Musicality - The Eight Seasons of Vivaldi and Piazzolla, recommended by Giuseppe Pennisi. '... Yury Revich is a superb soloist, a real virtuoso with tremendous imagination and a splendid use of his instrument.'
Ensemble. Most Impressive - Mozart, Enescu, Stravinsky and Brahms from Savitri Grier and Richard Uttley, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Unfaltering Artistry - Contemporary music for solo violin, heard by the late Howard Smith. 'Koh is magnificent in this devilish smorgasbord of chords, harmonics and subdued left hand pizzicato interjections ...'
CD Spotlight. Completely Unknown - Violin and piano music by René de Boisdeffre, heard by Paul Sarcich. 'To describe Boisdeffre as "worthy but dull" would be doing him a disservice ...'
Ensemble. Death and the Maiden - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Patricia Kopatchcinskaja and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra
CD Spotlight. Full of Life - Trio Koch plays Moszkowski, Milhaud and Martinu, recommended by Geoff Pearce. '... the players show a superb understanding of the melodic line and harmonic structure ...'
Ensemble. Balletic Energy - Britten, Korngold and Berlioz from Vilde Frang, Nicholas Collon and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra impresses Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Novel Soundscapes - Music by Xiaogang Ye, enjoyed by Geoff Pearce. '... superbly directed and played ...'
CD Spotlight. Rapturous Creations - Trio Karénine plays Robert Schumann piano trios, and impresses Gerald Fenech. '... commanding authority, rewarding depth and devil-may-care exuberance ...'
CD Spotlight. Sparkling Energy - J S Bach Violin Concertos, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Manze and Podger give free reign to Bach's poetic inspiration ...'
CD Spotlight. Well Worth Exploring - Chamber music by Franz Mittler, heard by the late Howard Smith. 'Both string performers ... prove excellent advocates for this full-blooded music.'
CD Spotlight. Beautifully Done - Mozart violin concerti, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... Kraggerud is most ably supported by the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra ...'
CD Spotlight. Thoroughly Captivating - Seventeenth century Italian solo sonatas, admired by the late Howard Smith. '... Caudle's irreproachable grasp ... invites admiration throughout ...'
Ensemble. Sonic Transparency - Fabien Gabel and the Royal Philharmonic impress Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. A Dynamic Entity - Malcolm Miller reports on the 2016 BPSE Beethoven Chamber Music Competition
CD Spotlight. Adventurous Disposition - Sophie Rosa and Benjamin Powell, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'A wonderfully attractive recital ...'
Ensemble. An Ambiguous Ending - Stravinsky, Sibelius and Shostakovich from Sophie Rosa and Derby Concert Orchestra, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Symphonic Thinking - Smetana, Bartók and Dvorák from Augustin Hadelich, Juanjo Mena and the BBC Philharmonic, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Lyrical Warmth - Dvorák, Beethoven, Schumann and Brahms from Steven Isserlis, Joshua Bell and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, enjoyed by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Electrifying Moments - Erwin Schulhoff for violin and piano, strongly recommended by Geoff Pearce. '... this music really suits these two performers like a glove ...'
Ensemble. Earthy Vigour - Smetana, Beethoven and Sibelius from Jennifer Pike, Pietari Inkinen and the Prague Symphony Orchestra, impress Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Feral Wildness - Music by Osias Wilenski, heard by the late Howard Smith. 'Lauded for his compositional style, Wilenski's unique works range from narrative symphonic poems and operatic spin-offs to instrumental miniatures.'
Ensemble. Well Served - Mike Wheeler listens to Joo Yeon Sir and Irina Andrievsky
CD Spotlight. Warmth and Empathy - Music by Max Bruch for violin and orchestra, recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... Weithaas is a brilliant exponent ...'
CD Spotlight. Virtuosic Gifts - Music by Mykola Lysenko, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... superb craftsmanship ...'
CD Spotlight. Star Musicians - Piano trios by Saint-Saëns, heard by the late Howard Smith. '... tonal variance and measured passion ...'
CD Spotlight. Enthusiasm and Precision - Carl Nielsen concerti, recommended by Stephen Francis Vasta. '... an essential acquisition, and not just for Nielsen collectors.'
CD Spotlight. Highly Appealing - Chamber music by Robert Kahn impresses Gerald Fenech. '... zealous advocates of Kahn's cause ...'
Ensemble. Freshness and Vitality - Mike Wheeler listens to the Czech Philharmonic
CD Spotlight. Contrasting Sonatas - Fauré, Schumann and Bartók from the Jade Duo, heard by Howard Smith. '... high-powered performances ...'
CD Spotlight. Assuredly Managed - Baroque premieres, heard by Howard Smith. '... Udagawa reveals its melodic character to the full.'
CD Spotlight. Musical Potential - Weinberg's Symphony No 4 and Violin Concerto, heard by Howard Smith. '... seductive timbre and technical mastery ...'
Ensemble. A Fine Balance - Sophie Rosa plays Brahms' Violin Concerto, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Astutely Judged - Music for violin and piano by Xavier Montsalvatge, heard by Howard Smith. '... brilliant, clear and individualistic.'
A Fabulous Concert - Rachel Barton Pine's solo Paganini impresses Maria Nockin
Ask Alice - On Deborah Pritchard's 'Wall of Water', with classical music agony aunt Alice McVeigh
CD Spotlight. Bravo - Challenging music for violin and piano, recommended by Geoff Pearce. 'This recording is up there with the best of them.'
CD Spotlight. Seldom Recorded - Violin Sonatas by Copland and Zeisl, heard by Howard Smith. '... Schiff has developed as fair and sweet an approximation of her Olympian mentor as one may reasonably expect.'
CD Spotlight. Deeply Affecting - Jennifer Koh and Shai Wosner's Janáček, Kurtág and Bartók, heard by Andrew Schartmann. '... a delightful array of sensitive performances ...'
Ensemble. Melting Rhapsody - Malcolm Miller enjoys Jack Liebeck and Danny Driver's 'Hebrew Melody' recital, plus a recital by David Aaron Carpenter
Ensemble. Focused Tone - Lyadov and Tchaikovsky from Leticia Moreno, Yuri Temirkanov and the St Petersburg Philharmonic impress Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Heavy Laden - Performances of Shostakovich violin concertos, admired by Robert Anderson. 'Christian Tetzlaff manages both works' difficulties effortlessly ...'
CD Spotlight. Brought to Life - Music for violin and piano completely captivates Geoff Pearce. 'The partnership is incredible ...'
CD Spotlight. A Niche of Exploration - Music by Hope Wechkin, heard by Howard Smith. '... idiosyncratic, evocative and deeply committed ...'
CD Spotlight. Altogether Impressive - Khachaturian for violin and piano, heard by Robert Anderson. '... fine listening when interpreted as idiomatically as here.'
Ensemble. Orchestral Showpieces - Cristian Mandeal conducts the Hallé Orchestra, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Unquestionably Recommended - Jennifer Koh and Jamie Laredo, heard by Howard Smith. 'This new performance ... undoubtedly earns a place ...'
CD Spotlight. Hugely Entertaining - Orchestral music by Knecht and Philidor, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Performances are consistently breezy and light-hearted ...'
CD Spotlight. Multifaceted Nature - Beethoven and Romberg explored, heard by Andrew Schartmann. '... stellar performance ...'
CD Spotlight. Expressive Potential - Music by Robert Hanson, heard by Andrew Schartmann. '... blends the beautiful with the obnoxious.'
CD Spotlight. Umpteen Contemporaries - Yoon-Hee Kim plays Khachaturian and Tchaikovsky, heard by Howard Smith. '... she appears to lack the aural muscle of others ...'
CD Spotlight. Modern Concertos - Music by Karl Fiorini, heard by Howard Smith. '... edgy, demanding works ...'
CD Spotlight. Stylistic Outsiders - An exquisite performance of Elgar's Violin Sonata, heard by Andrew Schartmann. '... no amount of writing can do justice to the last three tracks on this disc.'
CD Spotlight. Highly Sensitive - Brahms from Stephanie Sant'Ambrogio, recommended by Patric Standford. '... the authority and tenderness of fresh interpretations.'
CD Spotlight. Matchless Virtuosity - Mendelssohn and Schumann violin concertos, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... Barton Pine's heartfelt response to both slow movements is full of tonal beauty ...'
Ensemble. Maximum Expressive Contrast - Henning Kraggerud and the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra with Stéphane Denève, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Power and Delicacy - Eloisa-Fleur Thom and Mark Austin, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Searingly Passionate - Katherine Jenkinson and Ning Kam open Derby Chamber Music's new season, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. A Fine Protagonist - Isabelle Faust plays Bartók violin concertos, recommended by Robert Anderson. 'The Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra under Daniel Harding has accompanied with alert sensitivity ...'
Ensemble. A Sense of Joy - The Gough Duo at Derby Cathedral impresses Tony Westerman
CD Spotlight. Velvet Quality - Violin lullabies from Rachel Barton Pine, heard by Howard Smith. '... soporific, inescapable uniformity.'
Ensemble. Wild and Powerful - Joshua Bell's Tchaikovsky in San Diego impresses Ron Bierman
CD Spotlight. Interpretative Compass - Jennifer Koh plays Bach and more, heard by Howard Smith. '... divine, finely-spun tone ...'
CD Spotlight. Picturesque Allure - Maurice Ravel's orchestral music, heard by Howard Smith. '... gently hypnotic ...'
Ensemble. Technically Perfect - Suzanne Torrey listens to and watches Joshua Bell
CD Spotlight. Elegant Precision - A recital by Charlotte de Rothschild, heard by Howard Smith. '... consistently reliable ...'
Ensemble. A Splendid Violinist - Peter Fisher's 'Music from the Movies', enjoyed by Bill Newman
Ensemble. Intertwining Counterpoint - The St Petersburg Symphony Orchestra, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Uniquely English - A tribute to violinist Ralph Holmes, heard by Howard Smith. '... an invigorating spontaneity ...'
CD Spotlight. Quirkily Playful - Vilde Frang plays Tchaikovsky and Nielsen, heard by Robert Anderson. '... exhilarating to the highest degree.'
CD Spotlight. Chalk and Cheese - J S Bach sonatas for violin and harp, heard by Howard Smith. '... unconventional duo performances ...'
CD Spotlight. Wildly Original - Music by Lisa Miles, heard by Howard Smith. '... intriguingly addictive.'
Ensemble. Incandescent Performance - Nigel Kennedy with the Royal Philharmonic and Andrew Litton, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Melodic Best - Recent concerti for strings, heard by Ron Bierman. 'Warmly recommended.'
CD Spotlight. Diverse Miniatures - Bartók duos for two violins, heard by Howard Smith. '... impressive credentials ...'
CD Spotlight. Do Not Be Deterred - American double concertos, recommended by Howard Smith. '... both shapely and thought-provoking.'
CD Spotlight. Doubly Welcome - Music for violin and piano by Gerard Schurmann, recommended by Howard Smith. 'Excellent from start to finish.'
Ensemble. Born to Excel - Recent concerts in London, heard by Bill Newman
CD Spotlight. Original Soloists - Shostakovich concertos, enjoyed by Robert Anderson. '... high-powered music-making ...'
CD Spotlight. Ferocious Virtuosity - Britten concertos, heard by Robert Anderson. '... worth rescuing ...'
Ensemble. Sensuous Depths - A selection of orchestral concerts at London's Royal Festival Hall, heard by Bill Newman
CD Spotlight. Sensitively Aware - Piano concertos and a violin sonata, heard by Robert Anderson. 'The performances do full justice to Shostakovich's demands ...'
Ensemble. Natural Affinity - Klaggerud, Petrenko and the Philharmonia, heard by Bill Newman
CD Spotlight. Instant Enjoyment - Mendelssohn string symphonies and concertos, heard by Robert Anderson. '... scintillating brilliance ...'
CD Spotlight. Supple Artistry - Isabelle Faust plays Berg and Beethoven, heard by Howard Smith. '... alive with dancing quicksilver and spring-heeled agility.'
Ensemble. Superb Control - Wagner, Bruch and Elgar in Nottingham, enjoyed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Sublime Music-making - Kurt Masur conducts the Philharmonia Orchestra, heard by Bill Newman
Ask Alice - Of telephones and concerts, plus a recording of Vivaldi's Four Seasons - Music and Sonnets, with Classical Music agony aunt Alice McVeigh
CD Spotlight. An Admirable Introduction - English violin sonatas by Dunhill, Bantock and Stanford, heard by Robert Anderson. '... affectionate performances by Susanne Stanzeleit and Gusztáv Fenyò ...'
Ensemble. Sharply Etched - Mozart and Shostakovich from the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Truly Dexterous - Music for solo violin and viola, heard by Howard Smith. '... an urbane, ear-catching sound.'
Ensemble. Very Moving - A recital by Janine Jansen and Itamar Golan, heard by Bill Newman
Ensemble. Rapturous Praises - Yasmin Rowe, Sarah Sew and Tadashi Imai at London's Wigmore Hall, heard by Bill Newman
Ensemble. Seated on a Cloud - Vadim Gluzman and the London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Vassily Sinaisky, reviewed by Bill Newman