A selection of 'England' articles
Classical music news. Towards the Light - Helsinki Chamber Choir's new CD will be released on 1 March 2019
CD Spotlight. Majestic Feelings - Leon McCawley plays Schubert, admired by Anett Fodor. 'His unique touch, articulation, expressive dialogue between hands and outstanding technique are admirably illustrated in virtuoso passages which demonstrate his remarkable sense of style. This recording offers many memorable moments for the listener.'
Ensemble. Thrilling Singing - Alec Roth, Tallis, Striggio and Gabriel Jackson from Ex Cathedra, conducted by Jeffrey Skidmore, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Technical Mastery - Yevgeny Sudbin plays Rachmaninov, heard by Lucas Ball. '... most of the time, what Sudbin does with these fiendishly difficult works is hard to criticise.'
CD Spotlight. Superbly Enjoyable - Early chamber music by Peter Dickinson impresses Malcolm Miller. '... a welcome addition to a select repertoire is Dickinson's Four Duos for flute and cello, brightly played here by Rosanna Ter-Berg and Lydia Hillerudh ...'
Ensemble. A Safety-first Programme - Sibelius, Tchaikovsky, Mendelssohn and Dvorák from Alexander Gavrylyuk, Karl-Heinz Steffens and the Hallé Orchestra, heard by Mike Wheeler
Wild Extravagance - George Colerick investigates Berlioz, Fantasy and Literature
Ensemble. Pure Joy - Roderic Dunnett visits Winslow Hall Opera for Verdi's 'Il Trovatore'
CD Spotlight. Divisive and Enigmatic - Piano music by Stravinsky, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Peter Donohoe has always been an ardent admirer of the composer, and these interpretations reveal this sincere attachment.'
Ensemble. Appealing and Dramatic - Verdi's 'Luisa Miller' live in HD from New York Metropolitan Opera, enjoyed by Maria Nockin
CD Spotlight. Adeptly Handled - String Quartets by Elgar and Delius, heard by Stephen Francis Vasta. 'From the soft yet unified opening attack, we know that the Villiers Quartet will serve the score well.'
Ensemble. Pungent Melancholy - Derby Concert Orchestra plays Rimsky-Korsakov, Sibelius, Dvorák and Tchaikovsky, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. The English Beethoven - Piano music by Harold Truscott, recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... it is truly remarkable that he became a practicing musician let alone a composer of some of the most dramatic English piano music of the last century.'
CD Spotlight. An Adventurous Release - Piano music by William Hurlstone, commended by Gerald Fenech. 'Kenji Fujimura extracts every ounce of fantasy and imagination from this wistful yet intriguing repertoire, and his sensitivity and lightheartedness make the music yield all its youthful zest and fresh-faced poetry.'
A Fascinating Programme - Dina Duisen plays Beethoven, Chopin, Saint-Saëns, Liszt and Nagim Mendygaliev, impressing Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Romanticism and Rock - Lalo and Pink Floyd ballets in Rome, experienced by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Glorious New Directions - Roderic Dunnett looks ahead to 2018 and celebrates more of the best English provincial opera from 2017, at Garsington, Longborough and Winslow Hall
CD Spotlight. Vivaldi Reworkings - Passacaglia Baroque Ensemble, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Passacaglia delivers performances replete with polished precision and rhythmic verve while never neglecting to keep the music's breezy textures centre-stage.'
Ensemble. The Great American Symphony? - Mike Wheeler listens to music by Aaron Copland, as played by John Wilson and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
Ensemble. Early Opera in the English Provinces - Roderic Dunnett applauds some of this year's successes and glances ahead to 2018
CD Spotlight. Infinitely Varied - English music for solo guitar, enjoyed by Geoff Pearce. 'If you love English guitar music, and the performances of Julian Bream in particular, you will truly enjoy this disc.'
Ensemble. A Joy to Hear - Michael Foyle and Maksim Stsura play Beethoven, Franck and Elgar, impressing Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Wonderfully Louche - Bernstein's 'Trouble in Tahiti' and Gilbert and Sullivan's 'Trial by Jury', reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Verismo Hokum - Opera North's 'Cav and Pag' in Nottingham, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. A Unified Whole - Mark Bebbington joins the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Barry Wordsworth for John Ireland's Piano Concerto, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. A Great Start - Freddie Meyers' new opera 'A Sketch of Slow Time' impresses Alice McVeigh
Refreshingly Unusual - David Davies plays the organ of Derby Cathedral, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Punk Transformed? - Keith Bramich has lunch with Torsten Rasch, Roderic Dunnett and others, at the Three Choirs Festival
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 ...'
Ensemble. Splendidly Lucid - Elgar, Weber, Tchaikovsky and more from Julian Bliss, Mark Elder and the Hallé Orchestra, reported by Mike Wheeler
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. Something Rich and Strange - Mozart, Shostakovich and Beethoven from the Coull Quartet impress Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Broad and Profound - Philip Higham plays J S Bach's cello suites, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'The soloist's wise and daring approach also leads him to combine elements of period and modern style both in his playing and in his choice of instruments ...'
CD Spotlight. Truly Memorable - Carnival music for piano, recommended by the late Howard Smith. 'Goldstone unravels Schumann's variegated vignettes with outstanding technical precision and startling intellectual probity ...'
Ensemble. Emotional Complexities - Alexei Grynyuk plays Scarlatti, Chopin, Rachmaninov and Schubert, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. What was the Problem? - John Fulljames' visually engaging production of Rimsky-Korsakov's 'The Snow Maiden' at Opera North, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Great Stage Presence - Lucas Ball reviews a production that emphasises The Magic Flute's fun elements
Ensemble. Engagingly Clear-eyed - Mahler, Mendelssohn and Vaughan Williams from Derby Concert Orchestra, reviewed by 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. Vintage Handel - The pastiche 'Catone', recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Carlo Ipata and his masterful band of singers and instrumentalists give a most persuasive and fascinating performance capturing all the nuances of the score with impressive conviction and verbal dexterity.'
Ensemble. Terrific Movement and Zip - Opera Warwick's 'Die Fledermaus', reviewed by Roderic Dunnett
Ensemble. Genuinely Hard-won - Mike Wheeler listens to Nicholas Collon and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra playing Shostakovich's Eighth Symphony, preceded by Stephen Johnson's illustrated introduction
CD Spotlight. Vagaries of Love - Baroque music from Dominique Labelle and Musica Pacifica stimulates Gerald Fenech. 'A beautiful issue that is as heartwarming as it is stimulating.'
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
Ensemble. An Uneven Work - Mike Wheeler listens to Dvorák's 'Stabat Mater'
Ensemble. Excellent Track-record - Mike Wheeler is impressed by Opera North's 'Billy Budd'
Ensemble. Special Offer - Two top guitarists for the price of one, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. A Canny Pairing - Mike Wheeler listens to Stephen Hough, Mark Elder and the Hallé Orchestra
Book Review. A Work of Profound Scholarship - Andrew Parrott's 'Composers' Intentions? Lost Traditions of Musical Performance', read by Roderic Dunnett
CD Spotlight. Diving into the Deep End - Lance Friedel conducts Bruckner's Fifth, heard by Stephen Francis Vasta. 'The final perorations are resplendent ...'
Ensemble. Re-writing the Rule Book - Rutter and Fauré Requiems performed by the Armonico Consort, heard by Keith Bramich
Ensemble. Dido Reconstructed - Henry Purcell, arranged by Atilio Cremonesi, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
CD Spotlight. A Worthy Tribute - Purcell opera suites conducted by Neville Marriner, recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... full-blown Purcellian splendour ...'
Ensemble. An Attractive Programme - Baroque music and English string classics from the Northern Chamber Orchestra, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Sparkle and Brilliance - An exploration of the celebration and imitation of national styles, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Fighting for Justice - Florieke Beelen, Ensemble 10/10 and Clark Rundell, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Magical Stillness - The Elias Quartet plays at Buxton, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Refined Phrasing - Gemma Lois Summerfield and Sebastian Whybrew at Buxton impress Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Lucid Sense - Handel's 'Tamerlano' at Buxton, enjoyed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. On Vibrant Form - Bellini's 'I Capuletti e I Montecchi' at the Buxton Festival, recommended by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. A Polished Team - Heritage Opera's 'Don Giovanni', reviewed by Roderic Dunnett
Ensemble. Highly Satisfying - Roderic Dunnett visits Longborough for Wagner's 'Tannhäuser'
Ensemble. Handled with Brilliance - Opera North's 'Die Walküre' impresses Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Mellow Lyricism - Chabrier, Tchaikovsky, Rakhmaninov and Dukas from Alexandra Dariescu, Jamie Phillips and the Hallé Orchestra, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Double Value - Music from the lost palace of Westminster, recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... gracefulness and musical conviction ...'
CD Spotlight. Spectacular Virtuosity - Benjamin Nicholas plays Elgar for organ, recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... thought-provoking insights ...'
Profile. Highlighting Absurdity - Keith Bramich remembers his friend, the M&V contributor Robert Anderson
CD Spotlight. Sure to Please - John McCabe plays Edvard Grieg, warmly recommended by Ron Bierman. 'McCabe gets to the heart of these relatively unfamiliar pieces ...'
CD Spotlight. A Genuine Knockout - Balfe's 'Satanella', recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... a work made in Heaven, sparkling, joyous and overtly uplifting.'
Waiting to be Unveiled - Clare Hammond plays new music by Robert Saxton, plus J S Bach, Beethoven, Szymanowski, Adès and Medtner, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Vividly Coloured - Prokofiev from the BBC Philharmonic, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Unmissable Stuff - Music by Antonio Lotti, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... excitement, poignancy and luscious harmonic sounds ...'
CD Spotlight. A Wondrous Work - John Taverner's Missa Corona spinea impresses Roderic Dunnett. '... a magnificent addition to the wide-ranging Gimell repertoire ...'
CD Spotlight. Adventurous Disposition - Sophie Rosa and Benjamin Powell, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'A wonderfully attractive recital ...'
CD Spotlight. Highly Rewarding - Piano music by Charles O'Brien, heard by Roderic Dunnett. '... played with great charm and feeling by Warren Mailley-Smith.'
CD Spotlight. Expertly Sculpted - James Brawn's time traveller recital delights Andrew Schartmann. 'Each time a passage repeats ... Brawn shows us something new.'
CD Spotlight. Inner Solace - Choral music by Ferenc Farkas, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... performances have a solemn dignity ...'
CD Spotlight. Deceptive Simplicity - Purcell from The King's Consort, recommended by Alice McVeigh. 'What can one say when confronted with perfection?'
CD Spotlight. A Lovely Compilation - Renaissance Christmas choral music, recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... performed with breathtaking freshness, balance and gracefulness ...'
CD Spotlight. Polyphonic Masterpieces - Music from the Baldwin Partbooks, recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'The Marian Consort's delivery is clean, unembellished and wholly uplifting ...'
CD Spotlight. Reshaping the Classics - David Rubinstein plays Gustav Holst, heard by Andrew Schartmann. '... impressive musicality ...'
CD Spotlight. Organ transcriptions - Vocal music by Wagner and Elgar, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'Sarah Rose Taylor's voice is warm and creamy.'
CD Spotlight. A Rare Breed - John McCabe plays his own piano music, reviewed by Anthony Davie. '... an excellent and diverse range of pieces covering three decades ...'
Ensemble. Positively Explosive - Verdi's 'La traviata' at Winslow Hall Opera, reviewed by Roderic Dunnett
CD Spotlight. A Fine Programme - Vaughan Williams and MacMillan oboe concertos, recommended by Howard Smith. '... superb performances ideally recorded.'
CD Spotlight. Boldly Decisive - Hideko Udagawa plays Brahms and Bruch, heard by Howard Smith. '... a firmly nourished tone ...'
CD Spotlight. Sublime Beauty - Choral music by Herbert Howells, recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... glorious choral textures ...'
CD Spotlight. Let It Be - The Beatles for string quartet, heard by Howard Smith. 'The four Wihan players ... give this disc their best shot.'
CD Spotlight. Great Accomplishment - Music by Philip Sawyers, appreciated by Robert Anderson. '... a very cogent argument.'
Ensemble. A Veritable Spectacle - Smetana's 'The Bartered Bride', enjoyed by Roderic Dunnett
CD Spotlight. Well-Intentioned - Music for seafarers, heard by Howard Smith. '... a lot to recommend it ...'
CD Spotlight. Subtle Nuance - Steven Osborne plays Musorgsky and Prokofiev, recommended by Ron Bierman. 'This is an outstanding release.'
Ensemble. Mesmerising Power - Julian Anderson's new opera 'Thebans', reviewed by Roderic Dunnett
Ensemble. Growing Together - Vorisek in the North Downs, heard by Keith Bramich
CD Spotlight. Prime Objective - Buxtehude from Magdalen College, Oxford, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... consistently refreshing and spontaneous ...'
Ensemble. Convincingly Integrated - Sibelius, Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky from the Philharmonia Orchestra impress Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Utterly Idiomatic - Roderic Dunnett listens to vocal and choral music in Kiev
CD Spotlight. Angelic Sounds - Jacobean choral music, recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... distinctive character and colour ...'
CD Spotlight. Fascinating Work - Grieg and Finnissy for piano quintet, heard by Robert Anderson. '... the whole disc is an unexpected serendipity.'
CD Spotlight. Uncommon Piquancy - Music for two cellos, heard by Howard Smith. '... riveting effect.'
CD Spotlight. Elusive and Disguised - Shostakovich's Fourth Symphony impresses Gerald Fenech. 'A strong competitor for the disc of the year ...'
DVD Spotlight. Fluid and Magical - Ravel's operas, reviewed by Howard Smith. '... these concise aesthetic works stand out on DVD ...'
CD Spotlight. Style and Imagination - Paul McCreesh's Christmas album, recommended by Keith Bramich. '... high-quality British Christmas music from the Gabrieli Consort ...'
Ensemble. Canonical from our Era? - Nico Muhly's opera 'Two Boys', reviewed by Gregory Moomjy
DVD Spotlight. Conviction and Passion - Britten's 'Peter Grimes' at Teatro alla Scala, reviewed by Howard Smith. '... a welcome centenary release.'
CD Spotlight. Masterfully Controlled - James Brawn's Beethoven Odyssey, impresses Andrew Schartmann. '... the movement bubbles over with excitement ...'
CD Spotlight. Orchestral Vivacity - Music by Emma Lou Diemer, heard by Patric Standford. '... some undoubted aptitude ...'
CD Spotlight. Musically Engaging - English recorder works played by Jill Kemp, heard by Patric Standford. '... a virtuoso performer ...'
Ensemble. Soothing the Barons - Eleventh to fifteenth century vocal and instrumental music from Fleurs de Lys, enjoyed by Keith Bramich
Ensemble. Dramatic Effect - Purcell's 'Dido and Aeneas' in the Roman Gym impresses Giuseppe Pennisi
CD Spotlight. A Controversial Figure - Choral works by Samuel Sebastian Wesley, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Soloists and choral singing are of the utmost quality ...'
CD Spotlight. Light Colour - Orchestral music by José Elizondo and David Tanner, heard by Patric Standford. '... music for enjoyment ...'
Ensemble. A Poignant Heroine - Donizetti's 'Maria Stuarda' in HD from New York Metropolitan Opera, enjoyed by Maria Nockin
CD Spotlight. Inescapably Attentive - British music for piano duo, heard by Howard Smith. '... Mercury emerges with captivating ethereal qualities.'
Ensemble. Sonorities of Great Beauty - Malcolm Miller listens to the mandolin
Ensemble. Dramatic Singing - 'Peter Grimes' live from Milan in HD, enjoyed by Maria Nockin
CD Spotlight. Spectacular Virtuosity - Michala Petri plays English recorder concertos, enjoyed by Gerald Fenech. '... nimble fingering and miraculous breath control ...'
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 ...'
CD Spotlight. Early Flowering - Music for Henry V and the House of Lancaster, heard by Robert Anderson. 'The six voices of the Binchois Consort are equally happy when heard one by one or as a group.'
CD Spotlight. Diversely Exhilarating - Cheryl Barker pays tribute to Joan Hammond, heard by Howard Smith. '... four recital items have the ideal accompanist in Timothy Young ...'
Ensemble. Achingly Beautiful - Vivaldi's 'La verità in cimento' at Garsington Opera, reviewed by Roderic Dunnett
Ensemble. Vitally Sung - Heritage Opera's 'Così fan tutte' impresses Roderic Dunnett
Ensemble. Vividly Characterised - Alexei Stepanov conducts the Bolshoi Symphony Orchestra, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Truly Beautiful - Gounod's 'Faust' at San Diego Opera delights Maria Nockin
Ensemble. Total Concentration - Juan Diego Flórez sings Rossini's 'Le Comte Ory', reviewed by Maria Nockin
CD Spotlight. A Sympathetic Hand - Jane Glover accompanies Felicity Lott's Mozart, heard by Robert Anderson. '... joyous music-making.'
CD Spotlight. Instinctive Artistry - Jill Crossland plays Mozart and Beethoven, heard by Howard Smith. '... a distinctive, beautifully considered performance.'
Ensemble. Substantial and Astonishing - Robert Hugill listens to sixteenth century Christmas music sung by the Chapelle du Roi
Ensemble. Total Commitment - Bart's Choir's Verdi Requiem, heard by Robert Anderson
CD Spotlight. Great Purity - Performances by Deborah Roberts and friends, heard by Patric Standford. '... a recording to be treasured ...'
Ensemble. Unmitigated Fun - Covent Garden at the cinema, experienced by Maria Nockin
CD Spotlight. Beautifully Managed - Music for flute and guitar, heard by Howard Smith. '... reflective and purposeful ...'
Profile. Finding the Right Voice - Maria Nockin talks to American composer Daniel Catán
Strongly Stated and Idiosyncratic - 'Composing in Words: William Alwyn on his Art', read by Patric Standford
CD Spotlight. Spellbinding Artistry - Jonathan Plowright plays Chopin, recommended by Howard Smith. '... positively hair-raising.'
CD Spotlight. An Ideal Exponent - Eniko Magyar plays English viola music, recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... beautifully executed and superbly recorded ...'
Thoroughly Impressed - Maria Nockin talks to baritone Alan Opie, who is about to sing Germont for San Diego Opera
Ensemble. Distinctive Fervour - Music for Holy Week sung by the Chapelle du Roi, heard by Robert Hugill
CD Spotlight. A Spectral Atmosphere - Murray McLachlan plays music by Shostakovich and friends, recommended by Howard Smith. '... an outright triumph for the label and for McLachlan.'
DVD Spotlight. A New Light - La Scala gives 'Maria Stuarda' the royal treatment, by Gregory Moomjy. '... the cast was in fine voice ...'
CD Spotlight. Highly Challenging - Music for unaccompanied violin, heard by Howard Smith. '... searching performance ...'
CD Spotlight. Deft and Brilliant - Sibelius orchestral music, recommended by Robert Anderson. '... in the safest of hands.'
Bizarre Perception - Alistair Hinton discusses a recent article on English music by David Hamilton
Ask Alice - On viola pegs and swine flu, with classical music agony aunt Alice McVeigh
A Natural Aristocrat - 'Cardus - Celebrant of Beauty' by Robin Daniels, reviewed by Robert Anderson
An Unexpected Treasure - Jeanette Hanscome talks to author Helen Martens about her new book 'Felix Mendelssohn: Out of the Depths of His Heart'
Ensemble. Luxurious Textures - Sacred music from the Phoenix Chorale, heard by Maria Nockin
CD Spotlight. Bold and Inventive - Charles Avison's reworkings of Scarlatti, enjoyed by Robert Anderson. 'Avison's deployment of massed strings is wonderfully effective ...'
Record Box. A Welcome Insight - Orchestral music by Charles Camilleri, reviewed by Patric Standford
Elgar and Englishness - Alistair Hinton takes issue with Patric Standford's recent 'Provocative Thoughts'
Provocative thoughts, from Patric Standford - Elgar and England
CD Spotlight. A Heady Mix - Havergal Brian's Symphonies 4 and 12, reviewed by Paul Sarcich. '... Adrian Leaper marshals his enormous forces well ...'
Baton Magician? - David Stahl in conversation with Tess Crebbin about Bernstein, Mahler and German-language opera
A hermit at heart - Carolyn Nott pays an eightieth birthday tribute to her husband, the composer Gerard Schurmann
A star is reborn - BBC Legends, passing its one hundredth release, is appreciated by John Bell Young
Reminiscent retrospectives - Meteorological obligati, with Jennifer Paull
A countertenor virtuoso - Glyndebourne's latest new star talks to Roderic Dunnett
Editorial musings with Basil Ramsey - Prom fever
Second Sight. Music with Wilfrid Mellers - Celestial Voices. An early songbook on CD
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