RECENT: Find out about composers from unusual places, including Gerard Schurmann, Giya Kancheli, Nazib Zhiganov and Nodar Gabunia, about singing in cars, and meet Jim Hutton from the RLPO and some of our regular contributors in this eighty-minute February 2021 video.
Considering the quality and extent of Henry Purcell's music, his death on 21 November 1695 at the age of 36 - he was born in 1659, possibly on 10 September, in Westminster, London - casts our minds on the achievements of stupendous talent and the hypothetical quantity and quality of such composers if they had reached the Biblical 'three score and ten'.
CD Spotlight. Artistic Heritage - Music by Henry Purcell and John Taverner, unreservedly recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... the singing and playing are consistently warm and passionate ...'
Defining Our Field - John Dante Prevedini asks what is 'classical music' to us, why are we involved and what can we learn from our differences?
Ensemble. Change of Perspective - Mike Wheeler reviews Sinfonia Viva's streamed performance from Chatsworth House in Derbyshire, UK
CD Spotlight. Truly Riveting Stuff - Gerald Fenech explores a harmonia mundi disc depicting folly in various forms. 'This music is without doubt Stephanie d'Oustrac's territory, and she once again rises to the occasion with some superlative singing full of heartfelt passion, feverish emotion and dramatic intensity.'
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.'
Ensemble. War and Peace - Giuseppe Pennisi reports from the Sagra Musicale Umbra Festival
Ensemble. A New Venture - Mike Wheeler listens to Brahms, Elgar, Haydn, Parry, Philip Moore, Purcell, Rutter, Stanford and Vivaldi from Derby Cathedral Choir
Book Review. A Work of Profound Scholarship - Andrew Parrott's 'Composers' Intentions? Lost Traditions of Musical Performance', read by Roderic Dunnett
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 ...'
CD Spotlight. Brilliant Playing - Organ music played by John Kitchen, enjoyed by Gerald Fenech. '... a curiously varied programme ...'
CD Spotlight. Deceptive Simplicity - Purcell from The King's Consort, recommended by Alice McVeigh. 'What can one say when confronted with perfection?'
CD Spotlight. Passionate and Surprising - David McGuinness and friends, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'A beguiling issue in superb sound and catchy presentation.'
Ensemble. Quite Stunning - The 2015 Three Choirs Festival, enjoyed by Roderic Dunnett
Ensemble. Vividly Delivered - Tom Redmond's new spoken commentary to Britten's 'Young Person's Guide' impresses Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Infectiously Enjoyable - Anniversaries at The VoiceBox in Derby, by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Well Realized - Varda Kotler and Israel Kastoriano, recommended by Geoff Pearce. '... partnership and sensitivity ...'
CD Spotlight. Beautifully Managed - Music for Lent and Easter impresses Howard Smith. '... excellent musical standards and high technical achievements ...'
Ensemble. Exciting Times - Duncan Ward makes his debut as Sinfonia Viva's principal conductor, experienced by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. A Thin Connection - Purcell's 'King Arthur' travels to Italy, and is experienced by Giuseppe Pennisi
CD Spotlight. Spirituality and Psychosis - Music improvised by Sophie Harris, heard by Howard Smith. '... clear qualities ...'
CD Spotlight. Refined Balance - Purcell sonatas, recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... irrepressibly elegant and restrained.'
Ensemble. Exploring the Darker Side - Dan Miller and Richard Hodges at Derby's Festival of Britten, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Dramatic Effect - Purcell's 'Dido and Aeneas' in the Roman Gym impresses Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Startlingly Effective - Purcell and Poulenc from Opera North, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Distinctive Skillfulness - Musical stories for narrator and orchestra, heard by Howard Smith. 'Prokofiev, Britten and Dukas slot together to vivid effect.'
CD Spotlight. A Marvelous Listen - Hymn tunes played by William Neil, experienced by Gerald Fenech. '... spectacular and life enhancing ...'
CD Spotlight. Cloven Hoofs? - English trios, heard by Robert Anderson. '... Trio Setttecento has adapted skilfully towards whatever idiom was required throughout the disc.'
Ensemble. The Finest of Them All - The 2012 Hereford Three Choirs Festival, reviewed by Roderic Dunnett
Ensemble. On Confident Form - Derby Cathedral Choir marks the royal jubilee, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Compelling Settings - Lassus, Gesualdo, Purcell, Byrd, J S Bach, Bruckner, Brahms and Tucapský from the Sitwell Singers, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Chalk and Cheese - The nylon-string guitar of Tony R Clef, heard by Howard Smith. '... extraordinary recorded clarity.'
Ensemble. A Little Bit of Magic - Purcell's 'The Fairy Queen', reviewed by Robert Hugill
Ensemble. To the Glory of God - Giuseppe Pennisi visits the Sagra Musicale Umbra, celebrating old and new continents
CD Spotlight. Many Riches - The Deller Consort performs Purcell, recommended by George Balcombe. 'Alfred Deller is fantastic ...'
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. A Real Triumph - The first Milan performance of Britten's 'Death in Venice' impresses Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Very Rewarding - The Derwent Singers, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Superb Pianism - A London recital by Julian Jacobson, heard by Robert Anderson
Majesty, Moment and Control - Ben Bloor's concluding recital for Derby Cathedral's 2010 summer organ series impresses Tony Westerman
DVD Spotlight. A Glorious Time - Purcell's 'The Fairy Queen', recommended by Robert Anderson. '... tender expression and all requisite vim.'
Profile. The State of the Art - Maria Nockin talks to soprano Christine Brewer
DVD Spotlight. A Little Wizardry - Purcell's 'Dido and Aeneas', recommended by Robert Anderson. '... the playing is stylish and alert throughout.'
Ensemble. A New Path - Music by Oliver Rudland, heard by Robert Anderson
CD Spotlight. A Superb Work - Thomas Arne's 'Artaxerxes', heard by Robert Anderson. 'Roy Goodman and his team give their all ...'
Ensemble. Profoundly Beautiful - William Christie's 'Dido and Aeneas' impresses Robert Hugill
Ensemble. Buoyancy and Lyricism - Derby Cathedral Choir celebrates four composer anniversaries, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Bizarre Perception - Alistair Hinton discusses a recent article on English music by David Hamilton
An Invigorating Performance - Paul Hale provides a fitting end to Derby Cathedral's summer organ series, and Mike Wheeler was there
Highly Effective - Peter Gould helps celebrate the seventieth anniversary of Derby Cathedral's Compton Organ, as noted by Mike Wheeler
A Real Find - Robert Davies made a remarkable impact when he stood in as Papageno late in the run of English Touring Opera's 'The Magic Flute'; Roderic Dunnett profiles him and celebrates the progress of other ETO cast members
Ensemble. A Magisterial Presence - William Christie conducts Purcell's 'The Fairy Queen', reviewed by Robert Hugill
Ensemble. Focused Intensity - Purcell and MacMillan from The Sixteen, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Deceptive Naturalness - Red Priest's 'Nightmare in Venice', entertains Howard Smith. '... irrepressible, chic ...'
Ensemble. Nicely Thought-out - The early music ensemble Concert Royal celebrates the Purcell anniversary, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Dignity Personified - Apollo's Fire performs 'Dido and Aeneas', enjoyed by Kelly Ferjutz
Ensemble. A Near-perfect Occasion - Alice McVeigh braves the snow to listen to Fretwork at London's Wigmore Hall
Ensemble. Infectious Enthusiasm - Marc Minkowski and Les Musiciens du Louvre-Grenoble, heard by Robert Hugill
Ensemble. Beauty of Line - Andreas Scholl in London, heard by Robert Hugill
CD Spotlight. Sweeter than Roses - Amorous music by Purcell inspires Howard Smith. '... glorious song with inspirational accompaniments.'
Ensemble. Thoughtfulness and Insight - Roderic Dunnett was at Armonico Consort's 'The Marriage of Figaro'
Ensemble. Magical - A Stravinsky and Purcell double bill at Opera North, enjoyed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Strange Bedfellows - 'Les Noces' and 'Dido and Aeneas' at Opera North in Leeds. Patric Standford was at the first night on 5 May 2007
Ensemble. Lithe and Springy - The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Strong Performances - 'Jephte' and 'Dido' from English Touring Opera, reviewed by Robert Hugill
CD Spotlight. A Belated Flowering - Six-part consorts by John Jenkins, appreciated by Malcolm Tattersall. '... a wonderful group.'
Ensemble. Sparkling Performances - Yvonne Kenny and Iain Burnside at London's Wigmore Hall, reviewed by Robert Hugill
CD Spotlight. Often ravishing - Music by Debussy, Prokofiev, Britten and Ravel, reviewed by Robert Anderson. '... admirably encompassed ...'
Ensemble. Imaginative and ambitious - Rex Harley discovers the Crickhowell Festival
CD Spotlight. Varied and intriguing - Contemporary music première recordings for oboe, reviewed by Patric Standford
Mozart matinées - A Salzburg Festival preview, by Tess Crebbin
Venus and Adonis - Robert Hugill muses on the marriage of music and words in the seventeenth century
CD Spotlight. Fertile imagination - Arrangement with a vengeance from Red Priest, reviewed by Robert Anderson. '... never a dull moment and entertainment value paramount.'
Subtle colours - Malcolm Miller reports on a choice programme of English choral music in London