CD Spotlight. A Good Anthology - The story of Dido, Queen of Carthage, as seen by eight Baroque composers, heard by Giuseppe Pennisi. '... this is a book and two CDs to enjoy and to make an elegant gift.'
Ensemble. The Finest Musical Superglue - Mike Wheeler witnesses 'Energy', Sinfonia Viva's latest schools project
Classical music news - February 2020 Obituaries - Our summary of those the classical music world lost last month
CD Spotlight. A Delight - Song cycles by Mahler, Berg and Rhian Samuel, sung by Ruby Hughes with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, impress Geoff Pearce. 'Right from the start, she shows a more flexible and somewhat lighter voice, but a very good understanding of the lyrics, and she colours her voice beautifully to express this.'
Ensemble. Gesualdo and Friends - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Les Arts Florissants
Classical music news. Darya Dadvar - The Iranian opera singer is to appear in Los Angeles on 8 March 2020
Classical music news. Obituary. Mirella Freni (1935-2020) - The Italian soprano died on 9 February 2020
Classical music news - January Obituaries - Our summary of those the classical music world lost last month
Portraits. Jakub Józef Orliński - Anett Fodor writes about the Polish counter tenor and his latest album
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. Emotional Gravitas - Gerald Fenech recommends this recording of the 1876 version of Dvořák's Stabat Mater. '... this latest undertaking has excellence written all over it.'
Ensemble. From Chaos to Ecstasy - Haydn's 'The Creation' in Rome, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
CD Spotlight. Why Mahler? - Roger Norrington's interpretation of Mahler's Fourth Symphony, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Roger Norrington presents the music very much as Mahler would have approved, and dynamics are never exaggerated. The orchestra is never allowed to be short on emotion and overall this performance is deeply moving. Anu Komsi is also perfectly cast as the child-like soprano in the last movement.'
CD Spotlight. Absolutely Riveting - Kent Nagano's recording of the 1869 version of Mussorgsky's 'Boris Godunov', reviewed by Gerald Fenech. 'Nagano's formidable insight is able to take the listener on a musical journey into the dark depths of the human soul. Painful, yes, but unmissable.'
CD Spotlight. A Distinctive Scottish Flavour - Geoff Pearce listens to chamber music and songs by Judith Weir. '... a fantastic disc ...'
Classical music news. Obituary - Peter Schreier (1935-2019)
Ensemble. 'Messiah' Overload? - Handel from Derby Bach Choir, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. The Merging of Migrating Sounds - Ona Jarmalavičiūtė listens to music by American composer Derek Bermel. '... here the merge is extremely harmonious.'
Ensemble. Bold and Engrossing - Giuseppe Pennisi reviews Verdi's 'Les Vêpres Siciliennes' at Teatro dell'Opera di Roma
Ensemble. Pearls on the Thread of Recitative - David Mitchell reviews Pinchgut Opera's production of Vivaldi's 'Farnace'
Ensemble. A Real Triumph - Giuseppe Pennisi experiences Puccini's 'Tosca', live in HD at the inauguration of La Scala's 2019-20 opera and ballet season
Ensemble. A Dramatic Requiem - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Verdi in Rome
Ensemble. As Fresh As Ever - Mike Wheeler takes stock of Benjamin Britten's 1948 cantata 'St Nicholas'
Ensemble. Contemporary Premieres - Giuseppe Pennisi experiences three new operas in Rome
Ensemble. Economical but Effective - Giuseppe Pennisi reviews the new production of Puccini's 'Trittico' in Florence
Profile. An Early Maturity - George Colerick spotlights 1823, a critical year in the career of Franz Schubert
Ensemble. Affectionate Complicity and Tensions - Giuseppe Pennisi reviews Mozart's 'Idomeneo' in Rome
Ensemble. Magisterial Performance - Nina Stemme returns to Australia to sing Wagner, heard by David Mitchell
Ensemble. An Autumn Trilogy - 'Norma', 'Aida' and 'Carmen' in Ravenna, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
CD Spotlight. Deeply Humane - Patrick Maxwell listens to music by John Dowland. '... the exquisite word-painting comes through brilliantly ...'
CD Spotlight. A Glittering Compilation - Spanish Christmas music from Stile Antico impresses Gerald Fenech. 'Flawless performances by Stile Antico, added to some impressive sonics and eye-catching presentation ...'
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 ...'
Profile. Collecting Gems - Ron Bierman talks to the American tenor Carl Tanner
Ensemble. Florence Rediscovers a Masterpiece - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Gaspare Spontini's 'Fernand Cortez ou La Conquête du Mexique'
Ensemble. Tremendous and Sublime - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Berlioz's 'Grande Messe des morts'
CD Spotlight. To Be or Not To Be - Franco Faccio's opera 'Amleto', heard by Gerald Fenech. 'A must for all opera lovers, particularly those interested in nineteenth century Italian repertoire.'
Classical music news. Obituary - Jessye Norman (1945-2019)
Classical music news. Mortality and Loss - Carolina Eyck releases 'Elegies for Theremin & Voice' on Butterscotch Records on 27 September 2019
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. Uplifting and Inspired - Dvořák's 'Saint Ludmila' impresses Gerald Fenech. 'A piece for the ages, passionately performed and recorded.'
Ensemble. Lieder with Harp - Giuseppe Pennisi reports on a world tour by Diana Damrau and Xavier de Maistre
Ensemble. A Star is Born - Giuseppe Pennisi is impressed by Enkeleda Kamani as Gilda in Verdi's 'Rigoletto' at La Scala, Milan
CD Spotlight. Absolutely Exhilarating - Gerald Fenech discovers Friedrich Schneider's oratorio 'The Last Judgement'. 'Gregor Meyer keeps the drama moving briskly, and his forces respond brilliantly to the kaleidoscopic sequence of emotions coursing through the three sections.'
Ensemble. Packed With Good Things - Roderic Dunnett reports from the 2019 Three Choirs Festival in Gloucester
CD Spotlight. Imaginative Touches - Rossini's 'Eduardo e Cristina', recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... sensitively dramatic singing, invigorating playing and some glowing conducting from Gianluigi Gelmetti ...'
Classical music news. Plácido Domingo - The Spanish tenor has been accused of multiple sexual harrassment
Ensemble. In Many Respects a Success - Longborough Festival Opera's wacky production of Cavalli's 'La Calisto', reviewed by Roderic Dunnett
CD Spotlight. Full of Surprises - Michael Hofstetter's recording of Weber's 'Oberon', recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Recommended ... if only for the magical sound world created by Hofstetter.'
Profile. Only the Screen - Ona Jarmalavičiūtė talks to the Belgian singer and conductor Tore Tom Denys
CD Spotlight. Quite Unusual - Orchestral storytelling by Jon Deak, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'The performances here are very good, the music colourful and inventive, and I can imagine that this disc may appeal more to people with children than to adult listeners.'
Ensemble. Magisterial Creativity - Patrick Maxwell visits London to hear Haydn's 'The Creation' at the BBC Proms
CD Spotlight. Bold Simplicity - Patrick Maxwell listens to music from Wadham College Chapel, Oxford. 'The choral sound is well produced, if at times lacking in cohesion, and the interpretations at the hands of Katharine Pardee are well handled.'
Ensemble. Very Sensual - Giuseppe Pennisi steps up to Caetani Castle to listen to madrigals by Gesualdo
Ensemble. An Irresistible Challenge - Mike Wheeler listens to an operatic rarity - 'Lucio Papirio Dittatore' by Antonio Caldara
CD Spotlight. A Timely Resurrection - Music by Kurt Weill, enjoyed by Gerald Fenech. 'Recorded seventeen years ago, this reissue retains its freshness remarkably well, and the performance of both works is delivered with great elegance and elan.'
Ensemble. Ballet of Sheep - Opera Della Luna's 'Orpheus in the Underworld' at the Buxton Festival, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. A Local Heroine/Antiheroine - Mike Wheeler experiences the pasticcio 'Georgiana' at the Buxton Festival
Ensemble. Baroque Oratorios in Rome - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to selections of music by Alessandro Scarlatti, Bernado Pasquini and George Frideric Handel
Ensemble. Vintage Buxton - Mike Wheeler reports on the current production of 'Eugene Onegin'
CD Spotlight. An Impassioned Account - Seldom-performed Beethoven, recommended by Geoff Pearce. '... excellent performances by all concerned.'
Ensemble. A Neat Idea - A song recital by James Gaughan and David Hammond, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Out of Nature - Giuseppe Pennisi was at the opening concert of the 2019 Chigiana International Festival
Ensemble. A Different 'Aida' - Denis Krief's new production in Rome, experienced by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. 'Proserpine' in Spoleto - An opera by Italian composer Silvia Colasanti, experienced by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. San Francisco's Starry Rusalka - James Sohre sends the last of three reports from San Francisco Opera
Ensemble. Italian Operas in Miskolc - Anett Fodor sends her final report from the 2019 Bartók Plus Opera Festival
Ensemble. Lack of Originality - Anett Fodor has some reservations about Albin Fries' new opera 'Nora', which was given its first performance recently at the Bartók Plus Opera Festival
Ensemble. A Repertory 'Tosca' - Giuseppe Pennisi considers Puccini's opera as a real orchestral masterpiece
Ensemble. Three Operas in Three Different Styles - Anett Fodor reports from Miskolc on La bohème, The Golden Dragon, Duke Bluebeard's Castle and a symphonic work by Scriabin
Sacred and Secular - Rossini's 'Petite Messe Solennelle' from Derby Bach Choir, Richard Roddis and friends, appreciated by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. 'Music Makes a Town' - Anett Fodor reports from the opening gala of the 2019 Bartók Plus Opera Festival
Ensemble. On the High and Open Sea - Giuseppe Pennisi samples Italy's 2019 Ravenna Summer Festival
CD Spotlight. The Darling of Hamburg - Gerald Fenech listens to songs by Louise Reichardt. 'Amy Pfrimmer's singing is supremely warm and refreshing, and the innocent beauty of these songs is brought out in bright, luminous textures.'
Ensemble. Mahler's 'Resurrection' - Giuseppe Pennisi reports on an Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia performance in Rome
CD Spotlight. The Spirit of Tango - Piazzolla's 'María de Buenos Aires', recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Bouncy yet thought-provoking stuff.'
Ensemble. A Triumph - Alice McVeigh was at Covent Garden for the last performance of Gounod's 'Faust'
CD Spotlight. An Invaluable Addition - Kathleen Ferrier sings the Bach Magnificat, impressing Gerald Fenech. 'A masterstroke by SOMM and an invaluable addition to the Ferrier discography that will grace any music collection.'
Classical music news. Obituary - Heather Harper (1930-2019)
CD Spotlight. A Quintessentially French Bestiary - French songs by various composers, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Ducks, peacocks, pigs, butterflies, dromedaries, carp, cicadas and owls are just some of the creatures in the menagerie assembled for this recording.'
Classical music news. Obituary - Ruth-Margret Pütz (1930-2019)
Ensemble. Petrenko's Highly Dramatic 'Ninth' - Giuseppe Pennisi reports on a special concert in Rome
CD Spotlight. A Beacon of God's Love - Gabriel Jackson's Passion impresses Gerald Fenech. 'Emotionally charged performances, superb sound quality and highly informative annotations complete a revelatory disc that is wholly in tune with the present Lenten season.'
Ensemble. A Contemporary 'Stabat Mater' - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to a new work by Nicola Piovani
Ensemble. A Noble Simplicity - Giuseppe Pennisi was at the Roman debut of Gluck's 'Orfeo'
Ensemble. Engrossing and Thought-provoking - Ron Bierman reports on San Diego Opera's staging of Jake Heggie's 'Three Decembers'
Ensemble. A Clear Success - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to contemporary music in a baroque setting
Ensemble. A Popular Music Drama - Giuseppe Pennisi is impressed by Musorgsky's 'Khovanshchina' at La Scala Milan
Ensemble. All About Collaboration - Music by Steve Reich impresses Mike Wheeler
Classical music news. Schubertiade 2019 - Austria's unique festival celebrating Franz Schubert in two different locations has announced its 2019 concerts
Ensemble. High Jinks - Roderic Dunnett enjoys Opera Warwick's production of Offenbach's 'La vie Parisienne'
CD Spotlight. Sensitive and Meditative - Kamyar Mohajer's 'Pictures of the Hidden' engages Geoff Pearce. 'The performers here are superb.'
CD Spotlight. Rich and Varied - Songs by Robin Holloway, recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Performances are full of expressive variety and sensitivity, complementing the composer's thoughts with undiluted commitment.'
Ensemble. Zesty Singing - Edward Turner conducts Handel's 'Messiah' at Derby Cathedral, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Vienna at Santa Cecilia - Manfred Honeck conducts, and Giuseppe Pennisi was in the audience
CD Spotlight. Highly Unusual - Music by Toivo Tulev, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'The highlight of this recording is undoubtedly the 2013 Magnificat in which Tulev courageously departs from the text's traditional solemn setting and creates a sound world of immense originality by means of stratospherically high string writing and wild percussion solos.'
CD Spotlight. New and Unusual - Winter and Christmas music from Papagena, enjoyed by Keith Bramich. 'Everything sounds fresh ...'
Ensemble. Properly Exultant - Bach's 'Christmas Oratorio' in Derby Cathedral, enjoyed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Something Really Special - Bliss, Elgar and Vaughan Williams from Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Elizabeth Watts, Martyn Brabbins and the BBC Symphony Orchestra, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. The Homely and the Cosmic - Two concerts from Nicholas Kok and Sinfonia Viva, enjoyed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. A Different 'Gospel' - Giuseppe Pennisi explores the mesmerising aural world of John Adams
Ensemble. Enthralling Seasons - Haydn's oratorio begins one of Rome's major concert seasons, heard by Giuseppe Pennisi
CD Spotlight. Addiction to Poetry - Debussy songs, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Two joyful hours from four of the most passionate advocates for Debussy you can find at present.'
CD Spotlight. Stellar Performances - Handel Cantatas, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... music of the utmost beauty, full of emotional outpourings that cover the whole spectrum of the human condition ...'
Ensemble. A Musical and Social Bonanza - Roderic Dunnett continues his in-depth review of this year's Three Choirs Festival in Hereford
Ensemble. A Natural Assurance - Monteverdi and Elgar from the Three Choirs Festival at Hereford impress Roderic Dunnett
Ensemble. An Absolute Triumph - Roderic Dunnett listens enraptured to Ireland and Smyth at the opening night of the 2018 Three Choirs Festival
CD Spotlight. Sober and Engrossing - Orchestral music by Toshio Hosokawa, heard by Giuseppe Pennisi. 'The interpreters ... are high level and accustomed to working with Hosokawa and his music.'
Ensemble. Genuine Insights - Lizzie Ball and Morgan Szymanski at the Buxton Festival impress Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Plus and Minus - Songs and arias from Jennifer Davis and Caroline Dowdle at the Buxton Festival, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. An Odd Couple? - Music from Japan and Portugal at Rome's 'Opus' Festival, heard by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Daily Puccini - Malcolm Miller enjoys an opera lollipop recital in the city of the composer's birth
CD Spotlight. Finely Crafted - Twentieth century Polish songs, recommended by Geoff Pearce. '... a fascinating journey into the evolving compositional style of Karol Szymanowski ...'
Ensemble. Playing The Long Game - Mahler's 'Resurrection' Symphony from Jamie Phillips and the Hallé Orchestra impresses Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Colourful Performance - Dmitrij Kitajenko conducts Mussorgsky and Prokofiev, heard by Stephen Francis Vasta. 'Vladislav Sulimsky sings with feeling in a compact, reasonably firm baritone ...'
Ensemble. Unaffected Directness - A song recital by Curran Doherty and Edward Turner, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Highly Promising Talent - Katie Gilbert, Esther Beard and Edward Leung at Derby Cathedral, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. The Endless Darkness of Light - Adriano Guarnieri's new opera at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, experienced by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Vaguely Supernatural - George Benjamin's 'Lessons in Love and Violence' at Covent Garden, heard by Alice McVeigh
CD Spotlight. Candid Simplicity - Choral music by Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari, investigated by Gerald Fenech. 'Friedrich Haider and his team give sympathetic performances full of committed endeavour and unbridled enthusiasm ...'
CD Spotlight. Absolutely unmissable - Prokofiev's 'Ivan the Terrible', recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... a blockbuster of an issue which should delight both film score collectors and Prokofiev admirers in equal measure.'
CD Spotlight. Invaluable and Timely - Nicola Porpora's 'L'Amato Nome', enjoyed by Gerald Fenech. 'Stile Galante deliver performances that are sensitive, intelligent and beautifully controlled with the singing in particular being stylish and elegant yet consistently expressive and linguistically meticulous.'
Ensemble. Well Conveyed - Stainer, Tavener, Ireland, Matthew Martin and Vaughan Williams from Derby Choral Union, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Exemplary Performances - Martin and Martinu choral music pleases Geoff Pearce. '... beautiful music, lovingly performed ...'
CD Spotlight. An Outstanding Selection - Music by Christoph Graupner, strongly recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Exquisitely beautiful music, superbly performed, sumptuously recorded and splendidly packaged.'
CD Spotlight. An Enthralling Issue - Songs by Nikolai Medtner impress Gerald Fenech. 'This fine set includes 54 songs, so there are riches aplenty for one to savour and enjoy.'
CD Spotlight. Spiritual Balance - Reinhard Keiser's Markus-Passion impresses Gerald Fenech. 'Christian Brembeck and his team deliver a performance brimming with vibrant imagery and committed, stylish singing while adhering to Keiser's wishes by moving from verse to verse with effortless purpose.'
CD Spotlight. Timeless Significance - The Lassus St Matthew Passion, lauded by Gerald Fenech. 'Bo Holten and Musica Ficta give unerring performances, and their immaculate communication of the text added to the purity of the singing certainly contribute immensely to the enjoyment of this rarely heard work.'
CD Spotlight. Unerring Beauty - Praga Digitals' tribute to Victoria de los Ángeles, heard by Roderic Dunnett. 'De los Ángeles herself is, needless to say, enchanting. The purity, the innocence of the voice, as one can hear here, is simply unique to her.'
CD Spotlight. Seemingly Interminable - German lieder from Wilhelm Pfeiffer, heard by the late Howard Smith. '... to hear this fine music performed with consummate artistry and fidelity to these composers' wishes I can only suggest you look elsewhere.'
Ensemble. Engagingly Light on its Feet - Handel's 'Messiah' from Derby Choral Union, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Sensitive Direction - Gustav Mahler's 'Das Klagende Lied', heard by Geoff Pearce. '... a fine performance of a somewhat little-known work.'
Ensemble. Centres of Excellence - Roderic Dunnett looks back to the 2017 Three Choirs Festival at Worcester, and forward to 2018 in Hereford
CD Spotlight. Diverse Elements - Music by Duruflé and Respighi attracts Gerald Fenech. '... passionate and wholly committed performance ...'
CD Spotlight. Heavenly Beauty - Choral music by Johann Simon Mayr excites Gerald Fenech. 'This world premiere recording is in every way exemplary ...'
CD Spotlight. Deeply Felt - New music for piano and Chinese folk instruments, enjoyed by Geoff Pearce. '... quietly expansive and evocative ...'
CD Spotlight. Utter Conviction - Antonín Dvorák's 'The Spectre's Bride', welcomed by Gerald Fenech. 'Meister and his Vienna forces capture the eerie atmosphere of the story with chilling effect, and his consistent attention to detail allows the soloists free reign to bring out all the expressiveness of the characters.'
Ensemble. Admirably Clear - Elgar, Grieg and Walton from soloists, Nottingham Harmonic Choir, Rory Macdonald and the Hallé Orchestra, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. A Versatile Composer - Music by Geoffrey Hanson, recommended by Geoff Pearce. 'Performances are superb and everyone is a standout.'
CD Spotlight. Choral Masterpieces - Antonín Dvorák's Mass in D and Te Deum, warmly recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Performances are first rate, and Antoni Wit and his forces respond with eloquence and characteristically immaculate singing ...'
CD Spotlight. Joyous Occasions - Music by members of the Strauss family delights Gerald Fenech. 'A thoroughly stimulating issue, dashingly performed by Estonian forces conducted by the veteran Neeme Järvi ...'
CD Spotlight. Unmistakably Russian - Music by Alexander Feht impressed the late Howard Smith. 'There can be few, if any, Russian songs of equal calibre fashioned in the Colorado Rockies.'
Ensemble. Full-blooded Performance - Mendelssohn's 'Elijah' from Derby Choral Union and Richard Dacey, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. A Lovely Evening - William Walton's 'Façade' in Rome, alongside a symphony by Alfredo Casella, appreciated by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. A Great Success - Antonio Pappano's St John Passion impresses Giuseppe Pennisi
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
Ensemble. Tremendous Justice - Brahms' German Requiem and Dvorák's Slavonic Dances from Peter Nardone and the Worcester Festival Choral Society, reviewed by Lucas Ball
CD Spotlight. Delicate and Slender - Handel's 'Messiah', recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'A new experience of a work we have heard so many times.'
Ask Alice - Classical Music Agony Aunt Alice McVeigh gives Bromley Symphony Orchestra's Mahler/Schumann concert a plug
CD Spotlight. Beautifully Presented - Vocal music by Vincent Persichetti, enjoyed by Geoff Pearce. 'Both singers are fine and expressive, accurately expressing the emotional content of each song.'
CD Spotlight. A Beautiful Issue - Art songs by Franz Liszt, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Benjamin Brecher's sensitive performances are full of dramatic nuances and range of colour ...'
CD Spotlight. Totally Compelling - Schoenberg's arrangements of Mahler songs impress Geoff Pearce. '... I found this version very interesting and overall, more intimate ...'
CD Spotlight. Well-crafted Gems - Chinese and American art song, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'Juliet Petrus has a very fine voice and whose vocal timbre really sits well with these songs ...'
Ensemble. Compellingly Memorable - Schubert and Liszt from Ian Tindale and Nick Pritchard impress Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Ravishingly Beautiful - Karl Jenkins' Cantata Memoria, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... a deeply moving experience ...'
CD Spotlight. Vigorously Interpreted - Butterworth, Gurney and Warlock, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... the programme embraces all that is best of English song-writing in the initial phases of the twentieth century ...'
Ensemble. Big-band Jazz and Choral Traditions - Mike Wheeler listens to music by Will Todd and Nils Lindberg, performed by Derby Choral Union with the Midlands Youth Jazz Orchestra
CD Spotlight. Off the Wall? - The King's Singers' Christmas Songbook, heard by Keith Bramich. 'Each track ... is heavily arranged ...'
Ensemble. Well Scrubbed-up and Dapper - Sinfonia Viva and conductor Duncan Ward, with guest soloists Cordelia Williams and Alice Zawadzki, leave a deep impression on Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Consistently Engaging - James MacMillan sets the passion and burial of Christ, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... both singers and instrumentalists are on impeccable form, making for an insightful and focused experience.'
CD Spotlight. Devotional Piety - Music by Niccola Monti, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... distinctive and brilliant, rich in operatic and chromatic devices with an orchestration that is harmonically well-balanced and full of melodic touches of the utmost beauty.'
CD Spotlight. Imaginative and Original - Kirill Kondrashin conducts Rachmaninov, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'The final few minutes are electrifying.'
Ensemble. Transparently a Success - Gustav Holst's 'The Cloud Messenger' impresses Roderic Dunnett
Ensemble. Committed Performance - Mozart from Derby Choral Union, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Unconscious Dimension - Music by Rautavaara, recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... the singers' phrasing, harmonic direction and melodic sense all indicate how much this music is in their blood.'
CD Spotlight. Mysterious Spirit - Florian Boesch sings Schubert, enjoyed by Gerald Fenech. '... brimming with compelling moments of great yet gentle intimacy ...'
Ensemble. Re-writing the Rule Book - Rutter and Fauré Requiems performed by the Armonico Consort, heard by Keith Bramich
CD Spotlight. Novel Soundscapes - Music by Xiaogang Ye, enjoyed by Geoff Pearce. '... superbly directed and played ...'
CD Spotlight. Major Voices - Vocal and choral music by Lennox and Michael Berkeley, recommended by Geoff Pearce. '... thrilling performance.'
Ensemble. A Great Success - Spiritual and religious music at the Salzburg Festival, heard by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Deliciously Romanticised - Keith Bramich attends the first evening concert of the 2016 Gloucester Three Choirs Festival
CD Spotlight. I truly love it - Music by Frances White and Valeria Vasilevski, recommended by Geoff Pearce. 'Hats off to the four creative forces behind this work. All are exemplary.'
CD Spotlight. A Cracker of a Disc - Contemporary music from San José, heartily recommended by Geoff Pearce. '... lovely, approachable music ...'
Ensemble. Fighting for Justice - Florieke Beelen, Ensemble 10/10 and Clark Rundell, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Resonant Baritone - Mike Wheeler describes Josep-Ramon Olivé and Ben-San Lau's Buxton debut
CD Spotlight. Rare Emotional Content - Sacred music by Gaetano Veneziano, highly recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... this music took me completely by surprise ...'
CD Spotlight. Consummate Skill - William Christie's Les Arts Florissants, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... each piece comes to life with inimitable charm and grace.'
CD Spotlight. Great Heights - Orchestral music by Enrique Granados, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... superbly played by the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra ...'
Ensemble. Refined Phrasing - Gemma Lois Summerfield and Sebastian Whybrew at Buxton impress Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Life Force - Dan Redfeld's 'A Hopeful Place', heard by Keith Bramich. '... a profound, unusual and striking work ...'
CD Spotlight. Surprisingly Dramatic - Organ music by Rudolf Tobias, heard by Roderic Dunnett. 'Ines Maidre is a performer of attractive virtuosity and sound judgment.'
CD Spotlight. Consistently Vibrant - Music inspired by St Francis of Assisi, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'A heart-melting issue ...'
Ensemble. Creative Achievements - A seventieth birthday concert for Alexander Knapp, reviewed by Malcolm Miller
Ensemble. Festive Sparkle - A concert to celebrate the ninetieth birthday of composer Joseph Horovitz, reviewed by Malcolm Miller
CD Spotlight. Into the Unknown - Music by Luigi Gazzotti, recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... meltingly tender renditions ...'
CD Spotlight. Vivid and Colourful - Janácek from the Czech Philharmonic, recommended by Stephen Francis Vasta. 'It's good to hear Neumann in such fine form.'
CD Spotlight. A Genuine Knockout - Balfe's 'Satanella', recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... a work made in Heaven, sparkling, joyous and overtly uplifting.'
Ensemble. Me and my Aunts - A Shakespeare celebration, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Powerfully Transcendent - Cantata for the Children of Terezin, recommended by the late Howard Smith. '... all the authority and seriousness a topic of this magnitude deserves.'
Ensemble. Sinopoli's Loneliness - A concert in memory of the Italian conductor, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
CD Spotlight. Irresistible Momentum - René Jacobs' Haydn Symphonies, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... great zest and alacrity.'
Ensemble. Mahler in Monte-Carlo - Giuseppe Pennisi visits the Printemps des Arts Festival
CD Spotlight. Terrific Intensity - Robert King's 'Israel in Egypt', recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... the version to have ...'
CD Spotlight. Immense Clarity - Bernardo Pasquini's Passion Oratorio, recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... a moving interpretation, full of ardent singing and impassioned energy ...'
CD Spotlight. Wondrous Sensitivity - Music by Gordon Getty, heard by Roderic Dunnett. '... Getty is given the best possible advocacy on this well-recorded Pentatone disc.'
Ensemble. Unassuming Radiance - Mike Wheeler makes special mention of soprano Lisa Cassidy in Derby Bach Choir's Michael Haydn, Mozart and Joseph Haydn
CD Spotlight. Entirely Vivifying - Eighteenth century gallery hymns, recommended by the late Howard Smith. '... direct, unassuming religiosity.'
Ensemble. Sincere Conversion - Mahler's 'Creation', heard by Giuseppe Pennisi
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 ...'
Ensemble. Monumental and Hieratic - Stravinsky's 'Oedipus Rex', recommended by Giuseppe Pennisi
CD Spotlight. Meaty Stuff - Songs with orchestra by Michael Csányi-Wills, reviewed by Gerald Fenech. 'A stimulating initiation ...'
CD Spotlight. Fragile Beauty - Jules Massenet art songs captivate Gerald Fenech. 'Shudong Braamse has the perfect voice for this repertoire ...'
CD Spotlight. A Huge Showcase - American soprano Patrice Michaels impresses Paul Sarcich. 'Plenty of good things here ...'
CD Spotlight. Beautiful Moments - Arthur Gottschalk's 'Requiem for the Living', heard by Ron Bierman. '... a solid performance of both orchestra and choir.'
CD Spotlight. Under Development - Fauré songs for bass, heard by Paul Sarcich. 'Roy Howat's accompaniments are crystal-clear always ...'
CD Spotlight. Women in Love - Schubert Lieder captivate Gerald Fenech. '... full of sensibility, ardour and vocal nuance ...'
Ensemble. Wit and Effervescence - Music in the Time of Goya, by Derek Murray
CD Spotlight. Angelic Stuff - Paul Hillier conducts Arvo Pärt, recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... performances of the most wondrous beauty.'
CD Spotlight. December Celebration - New American carols, heard by Keith Bramich. '... this collection of new works is interesting and different.'
CD Spotlight. Delightfully Melodic - Music by Matvey Nikolaevsky, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... immensely enjoyable stuff ...'
Ensemble. A Gripping Account - Derby Bach Choir sings Elgar's 'The Dream of Gerontius', and impresses Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Vocal Chamber Music - Mike Wheeler is impressed by Mosaic at Derby Cathedral
CD Spotlight. Much to Admire - Songs by Berlioz, Chausson and Duparc, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... Soile Isokoski interprets this unique repertoire with eloquence and mastery ...'
CD Spotlight. Crossover Soprano - A recital by Rebecca Newman, heard by the late Howard Smith. 'The singer's voice is firm with secure intonation ...'
CD Spotlight. Faultless Artistry - Maria Luigia Borsi sings Italian arias, recommended by the late Howard Smith. '... outstanding in every respect.'
Ensemble. A Turning Point - The first in a series of orchestral concerts in Rome, heard by Giuseppe Pennisi
CD Spotlight. Organ transcriptions - Vocal music by Wagner and Elgar, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'Sarah Rose Taylor's voice is warm and creamy.'
A Higher Standard - Malcolm Miller reports from the Wigmore Hall / Kohn Foundation International Song Competition
CD Spotlight. Colouristic Potential - Vocal music by Olivier Messiaen impresses Gerald Fenech. '... imaginative conducting ...'
CD Spotlight. Cleverly Selected - Eighteenth century lied, recommended by the late Howard Smith. '... lucid, expressive variety.'
CD Spotlight. Convulsive Energy - Choral and vocal music by Penderecki, recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... the momentum of Penderecki's creations is marvelously executed.'
Ensemble. Understated Power - Roderick Williams and Susie Allan at the Buxton Festival impress Mike Wheeler
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
Ensemble. Poise and Elegance - Tchaikovsky and Mozart from the English Chamber Orchestra, enjoyed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Americans in Rome - Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia's Gershwin Gala, attended by Giuseppe Pennisi
CD Spotlight. Very Worthwhile - Vocal music by Michael Murray impresses Geoff Pearce. 'I could not fault the performances, and believe that they represent Michael Murray's vocal works well.'
CD Spotlight. A Middle Course - Music by Bruce Babcock, heard by Howard Smith. '... consistently distinctive and unfailingly proficient.'
CD Spotlight. Truly Superlative - Music by twentieth century women composers impresses Geoff Pearce. '... the Trio des Alpes is committed and convincing ...'
CD Spotlight. Quite Hypnotic - Choral music by William Averitt, recommended by Geoff Pearce. '... the depth of sound is rich and satisfying, and the performances solid.'
CD Spotlight. Well Realized - Varda Kotler and Israel Kastoriano, recommended by Geoff Pearce. '... partnership and sensitivity ...'
Ensemble. Generally Confident - Handel, Haydn and Mozart from Derby Choral Union and the Heart of England Chamber Orchestra, enjoyed by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Orchestral Discipline - Berlioz's 'Harold in Italy', heard by Stephen Francis Vasta. '... sweet, plangent tone ...'
Ensemble. Punchy Vigour - J S Bach's St Matthew Passion, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Dramatic Temperament - 'Euridice' according to Salvatore Sciarrino, heard by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Generous Spirit - Grieg, Tchaikovsky and Nielsen from Katherine Watson, Gary Griffiths, Jian Wang, Nikolaj Znaider and the Hallé Orchestra, enjoyed by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Sublime Beauty - Choral music by Herbert Howells, recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... glorious choral textures ...'
CD Spotlight. Appropriate Innocence - Spanish song, familiar and unfamiliar, heard by Paul Sarcich. 'High quality work all round.'
Ensemble. Winning Flexibility - A recital by Agnieszka Kozlowska and Beate Toyka, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Operatic Riches - Arias by Handel, Bononcini and Ariosti, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Lawrence Zazzo has a bright and clear timbre ...'
Ensemble. Exciting Times - Duncan Ward makes his debut as Sinfonia Viva's principal conductor, experienced by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. A Musical Polymath - Peter Dickinson's eightieth birthday concert, enjoyed by Malcolm Miller
DVD Spotlight. Words of Consolation - Abbado's Brahms German Requiem impresses Howard Smith. '... a front runner in this work.'
Profile. A Very Lucky Man - Albanian lyric tenor Saimir Pirgu talks to Maria Nockin
CD Spotlight. Musically Conservative - Dohnányi's Symphony No 2 and rarely heard songs, reviewed by Howard Smith. '... beautifully sung by Buffalo baritone Evan Thomas Jones ...'
CD Spotlight. Impressive Clarity - Ancient Irish songs about sleep, heard by Howard Smith. '... conspicuous authenticity.'
CD Spotlight. Very Refreshing - Vocalensemble Lalá, heard by Geoff Pearce. '... always musical and beautifully under control.'
Ensemble. Held Spellbound - Haydn's 'Die Schöpfung' in Wellington, New Zealand, heard by Howard Smith
CD Spotlight. A Niche of Exploration - Music by Hope Wechkin, heard by Howard Smith. '... idiosyncratic, evocative and deeply committed ...'
CD Spotlight. Deeply Moving - Brahms' German Requiem, heard by Howard Smith. '... searching depth and abiding consolation ...'
CD Spotlight. Convincing Work - Music for soprano and percussion orchestra, heard by Paul Sarcich. 'The percussion work on this album is of a very high standard ...'
CD Spotlight. Personal Choice - C P E Bach's Spiritual Songs, heard by Robert Anderson. '... the clavichord, wonderfully sensitive as it is, cannot stand up to a concert singer ...'
CD Spotlight. Expressive Potential - Music by Robert Hanson, heard by Andrew Schartmann. '... blends the beautiful with the obnoxious.'
Ensemble. Capably Sung - J S Bach's St John Passion in Derby Cathedral, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Utterly Idiomatic - Roderic Dunnett listens to vocal and choral music in Kiev
Ensemble. Almost Physical Impact - Verdi's Requiem, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Fourteen People and a Dog - Brits in Rome, heard by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. An Interesting Idea - Opera North's 'From Paris with Love', reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Full Value - The Vienna Tonkünstler Orchestra, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Much to Enjoy - Mark Padmore sings British vocal music, recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... beautifully sung, recorded and presented ...'
CD Spotlight. Rare Multi-Tasking - Marta Bagratuni plays and sings, heard by Howard Smith. '... music of notable sensitivity and fine tonality.'
Ensemble. Chung vs Pappano - Giuseppe Pennisi compares versions of Mahler's Resurrection Symphony
CD Spotlight. Quite Sensational - Iestyn Davies' Handel arias impress Roderic Dunnett. '... pretty wonderful ...'
CD Spotlight. Conscientious Objector - Unknown music by Benjamin Britten, heard by Gerald Fenech
Ensemble. Tension and Restlessness - More Britten, with Finzi and Holst, from Derby Bach Choir, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Liquid Velvet - Paul Wiffen listens to the new soprano-piano duo TangOpera
Ensemble. Intimate and Moving - The Ex Cathedra consort and continuo, heard by Keith Bramich
Ensemble. Exploring the Darker Side - Dan Miller and Richard Hodges at Derby's Festival of Britten, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Deeply Affecting - Ian Bostridge sings Benjamin Britten, heard by Andrew Schartmann. '... Bostridge conveys the emotional content ... with unwavering conviction.'
Ensemble. Eagerly Awaited - Opening night at Severance Hall, by Suzanne Torrey
Ensemble. Oversized Lieder - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Schoenberg in Bucharest
CD Spotlight. Crystalline Intensity - La Nuova Musica's Vivaldi and Handel impresses Howard Smith. '... recommendable for its baroque verisimilitude and clarity.'
Ensemble. Beautifully Judged - Ravel for piano duet, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Lively Forms - Music by Joaquín Turina, heard by Patric Standford. '... superbly performed ...'
CD Spotlight. Nostalgic and Enthralling - A Joan Sutherland portrait, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... a fitting tribute to the singing legend from Australia ...'
Ensemble. Searing Performances - J S Bach's 'St John Passion' from Music of the Baroque conducted by Jane Glover, enjoyed by Barbara Sealock
CD Spotlight. Wholly Inspiring - A recital by Elaine Huckle, heard by Howard Smith. '... her tonal resources are robust and the delivery pleasingly straightforward.'
Think of Something Beautiful - Malcolm Miller pays tribute to contralto Sybil Michelow
CD Spotlight. Quite Sublime - Sacred music by Antonio Maria Bononcini, recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... an issue that oozes beauty ...'
CD Spotlight. A Winning Combination - Songs, ballads and rondos based on Haydn, enjoyed by Howard Smith. '... unfailingly practiced in late eighteenth century performing style ...'
CD Spotlight. Elegant Precision - A recital by Charlotte de Rothschild, heard by Howard Smith. '... consistently reliable ...'
Ensemble. Crunchy Bitonality - Music by Julian Dawes, enjoyed by Malcolm Miller
Ensemble. A Natural Stage Presence - Guild Music's concert to celebrate the launch of two new CDs, reviewed by Alice McVeigh
Ensemble. Full Rein - Derby Bach Choir sings Haydn, Vivaldi and Beethoven, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Special Enchantment - Richard Hickox's 'Light of Life' impresses Howard Smith. '... Chandos/Hickox win hands down.'
Ensemble. Mother Russia - Works by Rimsky-Korsakov, Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev, enjoyed by Suzanne Torrey
Ensemble. Exquisitely Floated - Soprano Catrin Woodruff joins the Derby Concert Orchestra, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Both Lyrical and Heart-wrenching - Gregory Moomjy experiences a Divaria Productions concert
CD Spotlight. A Dismal Success - Felicity Lott sings Poulenc, heard by Robert Anderson. '... various moods of increasing desperation ...'
CD Spotlight. A Vital Force - Music by Handel from Ludus Baroque impresses Howard Smith. '... robust, spring-heeled performances ...'
Ensemble. Expressive Power - Malcolm Miller listens to The Sixteen's 'The Earth Resounds'
CD Spotlight. Beauty and Power - Australian soprano Nance Grant, heard by Howard Smith. '... an exceptional voice seldom heard beyond local shores.'
Ensemble. A Relaxed Evening - Bill Newman attends a 'family sing-song' event in London
CD Spotlight. Sensuously Crafted - Songs by Maurice Ravel, heard by Robert Anderson. '... skilled and dedicated artists ...'
CD Spotlight. Tempting Fate - Songs by Sibelius, Brahms, Schubert and Mahler, heard by Robert Anderson. '... ripe understanding ...'
CD Spotlight. Buxom and Comely? - Music by Gustav Holst, heard by Paul Sarcich. '... music of charm and individuality.'
CD Spotlight. Varied Repertoire - Christine Brewer and Roger Vignoles, recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... a gamut of emotions which are superbly handled ...'
CD Spotlight. Glorious Singing - A recital by Alice Coote and Graham Johnson, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... interpreted with great zest and passion ...'
CD Spotlight. Ethereal and Beautiful - Karl Jenkins' 'The Peacemakers', heard by Gerald Fenech. '... some rather inspired music.'
CD Spotlight. A Lyrical Outpouring - Vocal music by Richard Strauss, heard by Robert Anderson. 'Anne Schwanewilms manages a thoughtful and gentle radiance throughout.'
CD Spotlight. Commanding Appeal - Music by David Del Tredici, heard by Patric Standford. '... hugely enjoyable ...'
DVD Spotlight. Brilliant - Music from Tyneside and beyond, enjoyed by Howard Smith. '... a rich cavalcade of internationally known and local singers ...'
Ensemble. Purity of Sound - Richard Strauss, Fauré, Debussy, Poulenc, Wolf and Berg from Christiane Karg and Malcolm Martineau, heard by Bill Newman
CD Spotlight. Hit and Miss - Songs by American composers, heard by Howard Smith. '... likeable off-Broadway expertise.'
Ensemble. A Major Revival - Giuseppe Pennisi reports on bel canto in Europe
CD Spotlight. An Umbrella Occasion - Debussy songs, heard by Robert Anderson. '... very accomplished ...'
Ensemble. A Major Treat - Maria Nockin listens to soprano Amber Wagner
Ensemble. Wonderful Singing - Piotr Beczala's recital debut impresses Maria Nockin
CD Spotlight. Abundant Variety - A song recital by Monica Harte, heard by Howard Smith. '... thoughtful finesse and subtlety ...'
CD Spotlight. A Fine Partnership - Daniel Norman and Christopher Gould sing Britten, heard by Robert Anderson. '... the surest of touches ...'
Ensemble. Extremely Close - The Grand Finals Concert of New York Metropolitan Opera's National Council Auditions, reviewed by Gregory Moomjy
Ensemble. Wonderfully Unusual - Vivica Genaux and Europa Galante, heard by Maria Nockin
Ensemble. Remarkable Performance - Eisler, Gershwin, Mozart, Poulenc, Schumann and Weill from Katie Bray and William Vann, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Impressive Music - Songs by Havergal Brian, heard by Patric Standford. '... equal to the intimacy of the skilfully fashioned miniature.'
Ensemble. 'Back to Bloch' - Sybil Michelow on the Importance of being Ernest Bloch
CD Spotlight. A Fine Collection - Operatic bass arias sung by William Powers, heard by Paul Sarcich. '... a formidable mixture of operatic styles ...'
Ensemble. A Tragic Programme - Tom Taffinder reports from Welsh National Opera
Ensemble. Faust versus Faust - Two concerts conducted by Antonio Pappano, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
CD Spotlight. Great Fluency - Music by Pierre Moulu, heard by George Balcombe. '... magically moving individual lines and harmonies.'
Profile. Finding the Right Voice - Maria Nockin talks to American composer Daniel Catán
CD Spotlight. Creditable performances - Vocal music by Wolfgang Rihm, reviewed by Robert Hugill. '... purity, clarity and commendable accuracy.'