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.
Classical music news. Great Resilience and Creativity - Twenty finalists have been announced for the 2023 Donatella Flick LSO Conducting Competition
CD Spotlight. The Magic of Ballets Russes - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Warner Classics' box set. '... a gem which should be on the shelves of all those interested in the music of the early decades of the twentieth century ...'
CD Spotlight. Solace to Listeners - Patrick Maxwell listens to a box set of John Barbirolli's Elgar recordings for Warner Classics. '... a musical artefact which still tells us how Britain's most famous composer really can sound like ...'
Classical music news. Rattle to Munich - Simon Rattle is appointed Chief Conductor of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and extends with the London Symphony Orchestra
CD Spotlight. Well Worth Supporting - Geoff Pearce listens to the third symphony by Italian-born American composer John A Carollo. '... a distinct, assured musical voice which is not quite like anyone else I have heard.'
Classical music news - Donatella Flick Conducting Competition - The deadline for the 2021 Donatella Flick Conducting Competition has been extended until 13 August 2020
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. Diving into the Deep End - Lance Friedel conducts Bruckner's Fifth, heard by Stephen Francis Vasta. 'The final perorations are resplendent ...'
Ensemble. General Tendencies - Giuseppe Pennisi visits Aix-en-Provence for three operas and an orchestral concert
CD Spotlight. Orchestral Discipline - Berlioz's 'Harold in Italy', heard by Stephen Francis Vasta. '... sweet, plangent tone ...'
CD Spotlight. Boldly Decisive - Hideko Udagawa plays Brahms and Bruch, heard by Howard Smith. '... a firmly nourished tone ...'
CD Spotlight. Orchestral Vivacity - Music by Emma Lou Diemer, heard by Patric Standford. '... some undoubted aptitude ...'
CD Spotlight. Nostalgic and Enthralling - A Joan Sutherland portrait, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... a fitting tribute to the singing legend from Australia ...'
CD Spotlight. Distinctive Skillfulness - Musical stories for narrator and orchestra, heard by Howard Smith. 'Prokofiev, Britten and Dukas slot together to vivid effect.'
Ensemble. Charisma, Punch and Pull - Roderic Dunnett listens to Valery Gergiev conduct Szymanowski and promote the opening of Mariinsky2
CD Spotlight. Special Enchantment - Richard Hickox's 'Light of Life' impresses Howard Smith. '... Chandos/Hickox win hands down.'
CD Spotlight. Ethereal and Beautiful - Karl Jenkins' 'The Peacemakers', heard by Gerald Fenech. '... some rather inspired music.'
CD Spotlight. Serving the Memory - Vaughan Williams conducted by Hickox, heard by Paul Sarcich. '... this series will undoubtedly please British music aficionados.'
CD Spotlight. Divine Service - George Dyson's 'The Canterbury Pilgrims', admired by Robert Anderson. '... suitably exciting.'
Ensemble. Humour and Fizz - Eddie Daniels and the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Kristjan Järvi, heard by Alice McVeigh
CD Spotlight. Pure Welsh Magic - Richard Lewis, the great tenor, heard by Alice McVeigh. '... beg, borrow or steal.'
Ensemble. The Quality of Mercy - Giuseppe Pennisi visits the 2011 Aix-en-Provence Festival and reports on four of the six operas
Malcolm Smith (1932-2011) - A celebration, not an obituary, by Bill Newman
CD Spotlight. Sovereign Advocacy - Haydn, Hummel, Leopold Mozart and Neruda trumpet concertos, recommended by Howard Smith. '... expect nothing but the best ...'
CD Spotlight. Delicate Mastery - Orchestral music by Glazunov, reviewed by Robert Anderson. '... dashingly done ...'
Ensemble. Searing Eloquence - A centenary performance of Elgar's Violin Concerto, heard by Robert Anderson
CD Spotlight. Quite Magical - Marin Alsop conducts Dvorák Symphonies, enjoyed by Howard Smith. 'The Baltimores' finale sings and blazes with equal compulsion ...'
CD Spotlight. Utmost Clarity - William Appling plays Joplin and Bach, heard by Howard Smith. '... consistently four square, honest, unpretentious ...'
Highly Articulate - American dramatic soprano Christine Brewer talks to Robert Hugill
CD Spotlight. Consistently Solid - Kurt Masur and others conduct Mendelssohn, reviewed by Howard Smith. '... too often short on graciousness, charm or buoyancy.'
CD Spotlight. Sovereign Horn Territory - Music for horn and orchestra, recommended by Howard Smith. '... stunning breath control and consummate understanding ...'
Record Box. An Unfolding Cycle - Gergiev conducts Mahler, heard by Patric Standford
Record Box. A Youthful Composer - Orchestral music by William Alwyn, heard by Patric Standford
CD Spotlight. Poetic Lyricism - Tim Hugh and Olga Sitkovetsky at London's Wigmore Hall, enjoyed by Howard Smith. '... breathtaking musicianship captured my attention ...'
Ensemble. An Exhilarating Performance - Tim Lowe plays Haydn, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Gloriously Colourful - The British Society of Music Therapy looks back, with Margaret Campbell
Ensemble. Any Questions? - Bernstein's 'Candide' at English National Opera, enjoyed by David Wilkins
Beautifully Arranged - 'Antal Doráti and the joy of making music' by Richard Chlupaty, reviewed by Anna L Franco
Ensemble. Truly Moving - Handel's 'Messiah', reviewed by Robert Hugill
Ensemble. Haitink's Beethoven - Malcolm Miller was at the second of three April concerts at London's Barbican Hall
What makes a conductor? - 'Conductors in Conversation' by Jeannine Wagar, reviewed by Kelly Ferjutz
Ensemble. Much to enjoy - Colin Davies conducts Elgar's 'Dream of Gerontius', and Robert Hugill was in the audience
CD Spotlight. Often ravishing - Music by Debussy, Prokofiev, Britten and Ravel, reviewed by Robert Anderson. '... admirably encompassed ...'
CD Spotlight. Sheer modernity - Shostakovich's 2nd and 14th symphonies, appreciated by Patric Standford. '... a superb disc ...'