LISTENING TO TCHAIKOVSKY: Béla Hartmann uses his knowledge of Eastern Europe to argue against the banning of all Russian culture following Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine.
VIDEO INTERVIEW: Ona Jarmalavičiūtė talks to American choral conductor Donald Nally, director of The Crossing, in this fascinating, illustrated, one hour programme.
Decca Records began in 1929 as a British record label, established by the English businessman Edward Lewis. The name comes from the 1914 Decca Dulcephone portable gramophone.
The company's emergence as a major classical label was due to various technical developments (FFRR - full frequency range recording, early use of stereophonic recording and the development of the LP record), and the recruitment of pioneering record producer John Culshaw to Decca's London office.
The company's classical artists include Cecilia Bartoli and Renée Fleming. It has a large and glorious back catalogue, including many recordings conducted by Georg Solti.
Decca is currently part of the Universal Music Group, owned by Vivendi - other group labels include Chineke! Records, Deutsche Grammophon, Philips Records, UMG, Virgin Records and, since 15 March 2023, Hyperion Records.
CD Spotlight. A Compelling Account - Stravinsky for orchestra, enjoyed by Geoff Pearce. 'Mäkelä and the Orchestre de Paris share a compelling vision in both works, and are on their very best form.'
Classical music news. Tan Dun - Decca signs the multi-award-winning composer of 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon'
CD Spotlight. Simply Mesmerizing - Riccardo Chailly conducts Verdi choruses, impressing Gerald Fenech. '... oozing energy from beginning to end.'
Echoes of Oblivion by Robert McCarney - Sound Below Zero
Echoes of Oblivion by Robert McCarney - Extraordinary Adventures
CD Spotlight. A Phenomenal Reaction - Gerald Fenech admires Solti's Decca Ring Project. 'John Culshaw died on 27 April 1980 ... but his spirit lives on in this perfect marriage of art and technology.'
CD Spotlight. Shared African Heritage - Samuel Coleridge-Taylor from Chineke! Orchestra, strongly recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... riveting stuff ...'
CD Spotlight. Dance or Die - Gerald Fenech enjoys a disc exploring the influence of Italy on Austrian and German composers. '... performances full of rhythmic energy, explosive colours and, above all, harmonic ingenuity.'
CD Spotlight. A Marvellous Set - Geoff Pearce listens to the Sibelius symphonies, played by the Oslo Philharmonic and Klaus Mäkelä. 'The Oslo Philharmonic responds magnificently to the direction and vision of Klaus Mäkelä.'
CD Spotlight. Many Fine Moments - Geoff Pearce listens to Richard Strauss played by the Carnegie Mellon Wind Ensemble. '... a fine disc of works which are not recorded so often ...'
CD Spotlight. True to the Composer's Original Intentions - Schubert's Octet, heard by Geoff Pearce. '... the sound is detailed and crisp, and the balance is good.'
Classical music news. Obituary - Bernard Haitink (1929-2021)
CD Spotlight. Moods and Textures - Dvorák's Slavonic Dances played by the Czech Philharmonic, recommended by Geoff Pearce. 'There is balance and lightness here, not achieved by many other orchestras.'
CD Spotlight. Sonic Distinction - The British vocal octet Voces8, heard by the late Howard Smith. '... a luminous selection of pieces spanning over four hundred years ...'
CD Spotlight. Bewildering Delight - Valentina Lisitsa plays Philip Glass, impressing Gerald Fenech. 'A must for all Glass enthusiasts ...'
CD Spotlight. Astonishing Performances - Early recordings by Nelson Freire impress Gerald Fenech. 'An ideal set for ... all who admire this truly great soloist.'
CD Spotlight. A Marvellous Set - The complete Sergei Rachmaninov, sampled by Robert Anderson. '... a flow of fine works ...'
Ensemble. Quality of Mercy - Giuseppe Pennisi was at the opening night of the new Parma-Montecarlo production of Verdi's 'Stiffelio'
CD Spotlight. Spiritual Outpourings - CD Spotlight. Spiritual Outpourings. Alexander Romanovsky plays Rachmaninov, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... passion and elegance.'
Palpable Sincerity - Robin Daniels pays tribute to the Scottish tenor Kenneth McKellar (1927-2010)
CD Spotlight. A Strange Choice - Violin concertos by Vivaldi, heard by Howard Smith. '... reliable and persuasive ...'
CD Spotlight. Sovereign Advocacy - Haydn, Hummel, Leopold Mozart and Neruda trumpet concertos, recommended by Howard Smith. '... expect nothing but the best ...'
CD Spotlight. Deeply Satisfying - Elena Kuschnerova plays J S Bach, selected by Howard Smith. '... decisive and fresh as a dewfall.'
CD Spotlight. A Noteworthy Introduction - Music by Stravinsky for violin and piano, heard by Howard Smith. '... refreshing naturalness ...'
CD Spotlight. Striking Musicianship - Elena Kuschnerova plays Prokofiev, heard by Howard Smith. '... sparkling, lyrical and appropriately balletic ...'
CD Spotlight. High Spirits - Music by Dohnányi, heard by Howard Smith. '... the Buffalonians ... make their virtuosity seem almost effortless ...'
CD Spotlight. Eclectically Balanced - An organ recital by SooHwang Choi, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... expressive beauty.'
CD Spotlight. Quite Magical - Marin Alsop conducts Dvorák Symphonies, enjoyed by Howard Smith. 'The Baltimores' finale sings and blazes with equal compulsion ...'
CD Spotlight. Thoughtfully Appealing - Judith Lambden plays J S Bach, heard by Howard Smith. '... a great deal to admire ...'
CD Spotlight. Thrilling Mastery - Tanja Becker-Bender plays Paganini, reviewed by Howard Smith. '... sparkling clarity and power ...'
CD Spotlight. A Flowing Delivery - Bach Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin, heard by Howard Smith. '... vital technical flair ...'
CD Spotlight. Highly Challenging - Music for unaccompanied violin, heard by Howard Smith. '... searching performance ...'
Thank You Mama - Bill Newman talks to pianist Igor Tchetuev
CD Spotlight. Formidable Pianism - Beethoven arranged by Liszt, heard by Robert Anderson
Marvelously Gifted - Bill Newman listens to pianist Alexander Romanovsky
CD Spotlight. Perfection - Benjamin Britten folksong arrangements, recommended by Howard Smith. '... this release is worth several times it's weight in gold.'
CD Spotlight. Eminently Competitive - Mozart works for clarinet, reviewed by Howard Smith. '... Paul Dean demonstrates his exemplary fluency ...'
CD Spotlight. A Glistening Treasury - Songs with orchestra from Deborah Riedel, enjoyed by Howard Smith. '... a bounteous seam of unfamiliar, wholly blissful vocal gems ...'
CD Spotlight. A Skilful Balance - The Icicle Creek Piano Trio, reviewed by Howard Smith. '... rhythmically brisk, considered performances ...'
DVD Spotlight. Understandably Controversial - Derek Jarman's 'War Requiem', reviewed by Howard Smith. '... cutting room virtuosity.'
CD Spotlight. Distinctive Spontaneity - Halida Dinova plays Brahms, unreservedly recommended by Howard Smith. 'A truly distinguished performance and recording ...'
CD Spotlight. Superbly Measured - Music by Haskell Small and Mussorgsky, reviewed by Howard Smith. '... indisputably fine pianism ...'
Spotlight Malta - The new tenor sensation Joseph Calleja, by Tess Crebbin
CD Spotlight. Wonderful sounds - Aida on Naxos Historical, reviewed by Robert Anderson. '... playing that is supple but capable also of maximum excitement.'
CD Spotlight. Bitter tears - Kathleen Ferrier sings 'Das Lied von der Erde' on Naxos Historical, and David Wilkins is impressed. '... mastery of word-painting ...'