The late Patric Standford may have written these short pieces deliberately to provoke our feedback. If so, his success is reflected in the rich range of readers' comments appearing at the foot of most of the pages.
ROMANTICISM: Explore the late George Colerick's fascinating series of articles encroaching on the subjects of melody, romanticism, operetta and humour in music.
CD Spotlight. Plenty of Spanish Sunshine - Spanish music of a bygone era, reviewed by Paul Sarcich. '... poised playing and excellent interweaving of the various wind sounds.'
Classical music news. March 2023 Newsletter - Our March 2023 PDF newsletter has just been published, along with some extra classical music news and our February 2023 classical music obituaries
Ensemble. Schubert's Octet and the Spirit of Vienna - Giuseppe Pennisi reports from the final concert of a Schubert festival in Rome
CD Spotlight. Good Humour and Musical Gestures - Geoff Pearce listens to wind quintets by Bentzon. 'This is very enjoyable music and beautifully performed.'
CD Spotlight. Thoroughly Delightful - Geoff Pearce listens to chamber music by Poulenc. '... the performers are all very fine ...'
CD Spotlight. Many Fine Moments - Geoff Pearce listens to Richard Strauss played by the Carnegie Mellon Wind Ensemble. '... a fine disc of works which are not recorded so often ...'
Ensemble. Fresh and Appealing - Mike Wheeler listens to the Françaix Wind Trio
Ensemble. Colourful and Inventive - A streamed performance of a wind arrangement of 'Pictures From an Exhibition' from Derby's Joseph Wright Gallery, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
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. An Absolute Delight - Volume three of Charles Koechlin's 'Les Chants de Nectaire' impresses Geoff Pearce. '... Nicola Woodward's playing is sumptuous, insightful and virtuosic when it needs to be, without ever being flashy.'
CD Spotlight. On the March - Saint-Saëns wind music, enjoyed by Gerald Fenech. '... a truly glorious Saint-Saëns anthology wrapped in a different soundscape ...'
CD Spotlight. Angels in Paris - Two sets of solo flute music by Charles Koechlin, recommended by Geoff Pearce. '... Nicola Woodward's flute playing in the two sets that I have heard is sumptuous and varied, and one could not wish for a finer performance.'
CD Spotlight. A Swiss Household Name - Music for guitar by Hans Haug and Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... the enchanting playing of Marisa Minder is memorable throughout.'
CD Spotlight. Highly Effective - Gerald Fenech listens to miniatures by William Mathias. '... splendid and sweetly unaffected performances ...'
Ensemble. Relaxed and Exuberant - Mike Wheeler listens to Cavendish Winds playing Mozart, Danzi, Debussy, Arnold, Vaughan Williams, Holst, Bozza, Ligeti and Gershwin
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. 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.'
CD Spotlight. Scuttling Crabs - Music for vibraphone and wind quintet, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'There is some great vibraphone and bassoon work here ...'
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.'
CD Spotlight. Passion and Conviction - Music by Paul Reale, heard by Geoff Pearce. '... the musical material evolves as it goes ...'
CD Spotlight. A Real Melange - Music for wind quintet, enjoyed by Geoff Pearce. 'The members of Ventus Machina enjoy this music, as is evident from their well-balanced and joyous playing.'
CD Spotlight. Strong Jazz Influences - Wind music by Frank Martin, enjoyed by Geoff Pearce. 'The rhythmic precision is impressive, the solos are played confidently and the intonation and quality of timbre of all instruments is absolutely spot on.'
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. 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. 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. A Rare Treat - Mozart, Duncan Ward and Poulenc wind chamber music, enjoyed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. An Attractive Sound-world - Mike Wheeler listens to the Thorne Trio
CD Spotlight. Sheer Enjoyment - Don Gillis' music for wind quintet, heard by Geoff Pearce. '... always well-crafted, easy to listen to and often fun.'
Ensemble. A Long Musical Summer - Giuseppe Pennisi attended the Chigiana International Festival in Siena
CD Spotlight. Commendable - Poulenc for winds and piano, heard by Howard Smith. 'MSR's combination of Poulenc wind music is unlike any other.'
CD Spotlight. A Mixed Bag - Modern music for wind instruments, heard by Paul Sarcich. '... decent production values.'
Ensemble. A Riotous Production - Mark Anthony Turnage's 'Anna Nicole', reviewed by Robert Hugill
Ensemble. A Memorable Programme - Bach Cantatas at London's Royal Academy of Music, heard by Malcolm Miller
CD Spotlight. Poignant Sounds - String quartets by Peter Garland, heard by Patric Standford. '... remote and apparently disengaged ...'
Ensemble. Crisp and Lively - Haydn's Creation, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Unique and Moving - Mahler's Fifth Symphony - a self-metamorphosis from grief to ecstatic energy, by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Highly Effective - Bax, Chopin and Prokofiev from Artur Pizarro, Mark Elder and the Hallé Orchestra, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. The Real Thing - Spanish music from the Hallé Orchestra, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Fifty Years - Celebrating Lyrita's recordings of British music, by George Balcombe. '... a meticulous reproduction of orchestral sound ...'
CD Spotlight. Great Poise - Petrenko conducts Shostakovich symphonies, recommended by Paul Sarcich. '... care and thoughtfulness ...'
Ensemble. Invigorating Performance - Sinfonia Viva plays Judith Weir, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Discoveries Ahead - Malcolm Miller samples 'The World of Jewish Music' in London
Ensemble. Imagination and Strength - Celebrating the Mendelssohn anniversary at Mannes College, reported by Anna L Franco
A Model of Clarity - A new score of Elgar's 'Mina', appraised by Robert Anderson
Ensemble. Brilliantly Festive - Mike Wheeler listens to the St Petersburg Symphony Orchestra
Ensemble. Sing ye to the Lord - Roderic Dunnett was at the 2009 Hereford Three Choirs Festival
Ensemble. Thought-provoking - Music by Harle and Maxwell Davies, heard by Malcolm Miller
Ensemble. Another Treat - Martinu's 'Mirandolina' at Garsington Opera, by Roderic Dunnett
Ask Alice - Problems down at the ol' wind quintet, with classical music agony aunt Alice McVeigh
Ensemble. Full of Vitality - Glinka, Tchaikovsky and Schubert from the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, reviewed by Mike Wheeler