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. Obituary - Alexander Maykapar (1946-2021)
Classical music news. Obituary - Ester Mägi (1922-2021)
CD Spotlight. In Grand Style - Ballet music by Tcherepnin, enjoyed by Geoff Pearce. 'The Moscow Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Henry Shek, performs this music ... with all the passion and commitment such a score requires.'
CD Spotlight. An Unforgettable Recital - Ona Jarmalavičiūtė listens to Evgeny Kissin's Chopin recital from the 1985 December Nights Music Festival. 'From the very beginning of his career at the top of his game, Evgeny Kissin presents a performance that is, simply put, wild.'
CD Spotlight. Magical Repertoire - Rimsky-Korsakov's 'Kashchei the Immortal', enjoyed by Gerald Fenech. 'Do not be taken aback; the sound quality is miraculous and I enjoyed listening to this historic venture with immense pleasure.'
CD Spotlight. Undoubted Historical Importance - Paul Sarcich listens to music by Nikos Skalkottas. '... Skalkottas is no slave of Schoenberg - he has his own take on Schoenberg's methods and one could not confuse the two.'
Classical music news. Stjepan Hauser - The Croatian cellist performs with orchestra at Egypt's Soma Bay in April 2020
CD Spotlight. Novel Sounds and Experimentation - Havergal Brian's Symphonies Nos 7 and 16, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Alexander Walker and his Russian forces give passionately committed performances, highly idiomatic and bursting with excitement.'
CD Spotlight. Fine Performance - Orchestral music by Mieczyslaw Weinberg, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'Serenade Op 47 No 4 ... represents a happier and undemanding part of the composer's output, written, I guess, to appease the authorities.'
Ensemble. A New Don Quixote - Giuseppe Pennisi describes the opening of Teatro dell'Opera di Roma's new ballet season, with a new version of Ludwig Minkus' work, creating a stylised and colorful fairytale world
CD Spotlight. A Relative Newcomer - Temirzhan Yerzhanov plays Prokofiev, heard by the late Howard Smith. '... idiosyncratic, superbly delineated invention and precise harmonic intuition.'
CD Spotlight. A Unique Cycle - Piano music by Nikolai Peyko, recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Performances are highly virtuosic and wholly committed, and both pianists know exactly how to convey the overriding shape with discernment and piquancy.'
Ensemble. A Neat Bit of Programming - Khachaturian, Rachmaninov, Musorgsky and Shostakovich from Freddy Kempf, the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra and Yuri Simonov, heard by Mike Wheeler
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.'
CD Spotlight. An Absolute Delight - Svjatoslav Richter plays Mussorgsky and Tchaikovsky, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'Remind yourself that these are live recordings from 1954-60 and you will enjoy this disc.'
CD Spotlight. A Powerful Statement - Khachaturian from Dmitry Yablonsky and the Russian Philharmonic, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'The orchestra and conductor are superb, and committed to bringing out the very best of this music ...'
CD Spotlight. Meaty Stuff - Orchestral music by Faradzh Karaev, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Performances are committed throughout ...'
CD Spotlight. Delightfully Melodic - Music by Matvey Nikolaevsky, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... immensely enjoyable stuff ...'
CD Spotlight. The OK Guys - Korngold's 'The Adventures of Robin Hood', impresses the late Howard Smith. 'The Moscow players appear right at home with this rousing score ...'
CD Spotlight. Not for the Squeamish - Symphonies by Andrei Golovin, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Sound and presentation are top notch.'
CD Spotlight. Emotional Power - Moisey Weinberg's Symphonies 5 and 10, recommended by Geoff Pearce. '... this music truly speaks with the language of our time.'
Ensemble. Collective Virtuosity - Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich, Rachmaninov and Britten from Natalie Clein, the Moscow Philharmonic and Yuri Simonov, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Strikingly Consistent - Elena Kuschnerova plays Schumann, heard by Howard Smith. '... sparkling vivacity and palpable ardour.'
Ensemble. A fine performance - Tchaikovsky's 'Eugene Onegin' at Los Angeles Opera, enjoyed by Maria Nockin
CD Spotlight. Striking Power - Leslie Howard plays Rachmaninov, heard by Howard Smith. '... a staggering technique.'
Ensemble. Unique Harmonies - Shostakovich's 'Moscow, Cherry Town', enjoyed by Maria Nockin
Ensemble. A Great Success - Sergey Sobolev plays Chopin, Liszt and Schumann, heard by Bill Newman
CD Spotlight. Witness to Atrocities - The poetry of Anna Akhmatova, heard by Howard Smith. '... a cause for unstinting applause and praise.'
Ensemble. Full of Irony - Shostakovich's 'The Nose', reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. High Standards - Bill Newman listens to various artists at London's Wigmore Hall
Ensemble. Great Sensitivity - The Vienna Tonkünstler Orchestra, heard by Mike Wheeler
New Year Blues - A roundup of recent London concerts by Bill Newman
CD Spotlight. Many Levels - Chamber music by Mozart and Smetana, heard by Howard Smith. '... judged to perfection ...'
Ensemble. What does this symphony mean? - Shostakovich's 'Leningrad', heard by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. A Memorable Night - The Israel Camerata Orchestra Jerusalem, heard by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. A Blistering Whirlwind - More from the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. An Apt Mix - Alena Baeva, Terje Mikkelsen and The Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra of Moscow Radio, heard by Mike Wheeler
Heroes Step Up in Crisis - The Muti era lays claim to Chicago, by Barbara Sealock
CD Spotlight. Lightness of Touch - Brahms and Strauss, heard by Patric Standford. '... a very fine performance by Joshua Pierce ...'
Ensemble. Nearly a Male Lulu - 'Don Giovanni' in Aix-en-Provence, a black comedy of sex and loneliness, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. High Voltage - Sol Gabetta joins Slatkin and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, reviewed by Lawrence Budmen
Thank You Mama - Bill Newman talks to pianist Igor Tchetuev
Marvelously Gifted - Bill Newman listens to pianist Alexander Romanovsky
Ensemble. A Heady Delight - Shostakovich's operetta 'Moskva, Cheryomushki', reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. A Dream-Travelogue of Intoxification - David Wilkins attends a concert at the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatoire
Ensemble. Fire in its Belly - Lothar Zagrosek conducts the Konzerthausorchester, Berlin, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. A Special Quality - Music by Sibelius for voice and orchestra, recommended by Robert Anderson. 'Throughout the set BIS has maintained the high standards ...'
Record Box. Unjustly Neglected - Violin concertos by Nikolay Roslavets impress Gerald Fenech
Ensemble. Rare Provenance - Kristallnacht remembered, by Howard Smith
Record Box. Many Moods - Orchestral music by Glazunov, recommended by Robert Anderson
CD Spotlight. Striking Beauty - Rachmaninov's Vespers, enjoyed by Howard Smith. '... marvellous tonal exactitude, pellucid control, superb diction ...'
CD Spotlight. Lifting the Spirits - A benefit concert for the Kitezh Children's Community, reviewed by Howard Smith. '... Berkofsky tailors the accompaniments with demonstrable taste and empathy.'
Stolen property - The daughter of a Christchurch actress fights church duplicity in Moscow, by Howard Smith
CD Spotlight. Sheer modernity - Shostakovich's 2nd and 14th symphonies, appreciated by Patric Standford. '... a superb disc ...'
CD Spotlight. Instant impact - Khachaturian's Violin Concerto, reviewed by Robert Anderson. '... above praise.'
CD Spotlight. Life and strife - Fritz Reiner's Tchaikovsky, reviewed by Robert Anderson. '... Reiner's no-nonsense approach avoids any hint of emotional excess.'
CD Spotlight. An indelible impression - Ewa Podles sings Russian songs and arias, appreciated by Maria Nockin. '... incredibly well done ...'
To Russia with Love - A bizarre story from Moscow, told by Howard Smith
Profile. Life in the old tiger - In the second of two articles about the Chisinau National Opera, Moldovan tenor Mihai Muntean talks to Roderic Dunnett