CENTRAL ENGLAND: Mike Wheeler's concert reviews from Nottingham and Derbyshire feature high profile artists on the UK circuit - often quite early on their tours.
Endowed with extraordinary powers of violin playing, Nicolò Paganini was born in Genoa on 27 October 1782 and died in Nice on 27 May 1840. His performing career was therefore remarkable and fuelled still further by the virtuosic pieces he composed for his concerts. Paganini commissioned Berlioz’ Harold in Italy, yet never played the work.
Profile. A Silver Age - George Colerick writes about Franz Lehár, probably the greatest twentieth century composer of operettas
Profile. No Vulgar Commercialiser - George Colerick tells the story of Louis Jullien, a French impressario, composer and conductor famous in London in the nineteenth 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.'
Peace through Music - Giuseppe Pennisi reports on Christmas concerts in the Holy Land
Dies Irae - George Colerick takes a look at secular and romantic uses of the old Latin hymn
CD Spotlight. Engagingly Delivered - Robert Meyer's 'Discovering the Double Bass', heard by the late Howard Smith. '... a rare and welcome initiative ...'
CD Spotlight. Blown Away - Marina Piccinini plays Paganini, recommended by Howard Smith. '... hypnotic interpretative gifts ...'
CD Spotlight. Seldom Bridged - Tom Collier plays vibraphone and marimba, highly recommended by Howard Smith. '... hear classics from a new, fascinating standpoint ...'
Deliciously Bubbly - James Baillieu plays Beethoven, Schumann, Gottschalk and Paganini via Liszt, heard by Mike Wheeler
Boundless Energy - Warren Mailley-Smith, heard by Mary Isaac
DVD Spotlight. Ho hum! - Vidor Nagy plays Bach and Paganini, reviewed by Howard Smith. '... moments of splendour.'
Ensemble. Vibrant Performance - Two concerts by the Symphony of the Americas, reviewed by Lawrence Budmen
Ensemble. Most Memorable - A recital by Soojin Han and Tadashi Imai impresses Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Glowing Performances - Music by Koechlin and Jongen, recommended by Howard Smith. '... a truly outstanding recital ...'
CD Spotlight. A Shattered Mirror - Paganini caprices arranged for string quartet, heard by Howard Smith. '... technically cluttered.'
CD Spotlight. Thrilling Mastery - Tanja Becker-Bender plays Paganini, reviewed by Howard Smith. '... sparkling clarity and power ...'
CD Spotlight. Highly Challenging - Music for unaccompanied violin, heard by Howard Smith. '... searching performance ...'