VIDEO PODCAST: John Dante Prevedini leads a discussion about Youth Involvement in Classical Music - this specially extended illustrated feature includes contributions from Christopher Morley, Gerald Fenech, Halida Dinova, Patricia Spencer and Roderic Dunnett.
FROM ROME: Keep in touch with the Italian opera and classical music scene by reading Giuseppe Pennisi's regular reports.
Nimbus is a British record company and CD label founded in 1972 by Numa Labinsky, Michael Reynolds and Gerald Reynolds and based at Wyastone Leys near Monmouth on the border between Wales and England. It was the first company to master and press CDs in the UK, and developed and marketed CD mastering equipment. Nimbus is also known for making recordings using Ambisonic surround sound, and for transferring vocal music from the old 78rpm format and piano music from piano rolls onto vinyl and CD formats.
The company was sold to the Mirror Group in 1987, but the IPR to the Nimbus catalogue was finally reacquired by the original owners operating as Wyastone Estate Limited.
Further information: www.wyastone.co.uk
CD Spotlight. A De-orchestration? - Keith Bramich listens to Richard Blackford's new version of Verdi's Messa da Requiem. '... Richard Blackford is a respected and experienced composer, and this is no mere thinning of the texture ...'
CD Spotlight. Contrasting Moods - Geoff Pearce is impressed by Dvořák from the Shaham Erez Wallfisch Trio. 'All three performers ... do full justice to the works they are presenting here ...'
Echoes of Oblivion by Robert McCarney - Sound Below Zero
CD Spotlight. Criminal Exploits - Geoff Pearce listens to Adrian Williams' chamber concerto 'Portraits of Ned Kelly'. 'The playing is very impressive and delivers a compelling performance.'
Ensemble. Original and Impressive - Geoff Pearce listens to Adrian Williams' Symphony No 1
CD Spotlight. Quietly Ambiguous - Stephen Francis Vasta feels vaguely let down by Mami Shikimori and the Wihan Quartet's performances of Fauré and Franck. '... wonderfully committed and incisive playing.'
CD Spotlight. A British Tint - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to two recent orchestral works by British composer Philip Sawyers. 'The BBC National Orchestra of Wales, conducted by Kenneth Woods, gives masterly performances of the two pieces.'
CD Spotlight. A Very Joyous Disc - Brahms arranged by Kenneth Woods impresses Alice McVeigh. '... this is an excellent performance representing a useful, joyful and even inspired addition to the orchestral repertoire.'
CD Spotlight. View from the Celli - Philip Sawyers' Symphony No 3 impresses Alice McVeigh. 'Pummelled strings rise turbulent beneath great brass chords: the entire fisting orchestra soars, confident, triumphant and united at last.'
CD Spotlight. Hard to Beat - Clara Rodriguez plays Moisés Moleiro, heard by the late Howard Smith. '... dazzling, undemanding musical enjoyment ...'
CD Spotlight. Thoroughly Captivating - Seventeenth century Italian solo sonatas, admired by the late Howard Smith. '... Caudle's irreproachable grasp ... invites admiration throughout ...'
CD Spotlight. Stunningly Atmospheric - Fiona and John York play Stravinsky, Ravel and Debussy, heard by the late Howard Smith. '... worthy of the highest recommendation.'
CD Spotlight. Assuredly Managed - Baroque premieres, heard by Howard Smith. '... Udagawa reveals its melodic character to the full.'
CD Spotlight. Boldly Decisive - Hideko Udagawa plays Brahms and Bruch, heard by Howard Smith. '... a firmly nourished tone ...'
CD Spotlight. Not Often Fugal - Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and Mendelssohn from the Petrof Trio, heard by Robert Anderson. '... the Tchaikovsky is a rarity, and the more welcome for that.'
CD Spotlight. Surprisingly Genial - Music for string quartet by William Zinn, heard by Howard Smith. '... the string writing is outstanding in its proficiency.'
CD Spotlight. Let It Be - The Beatles for string quartet, heard by Howard Smith. 'The four Wihan players ... give this disc their best shot.'
CD Spotlight. Great Accomplishment - Music by Philip Sawyers, appreciated by Robert Anderson. '... a very cogent argument.'
CD Spotlight. Altogether Impressive - Khachaturian for violin and piano, heard by Robert Anderson. '... fine listening when interpreted as idiomatically as here.'
CD Spotlight. Dance-like Vitality - Nick van Bloss plays Chopin, heard by Andrew Schartmann. '... unprecedented freshness ...'
CD Spotlight. Stylistic Outsiders - An exquisite performance of Elgar's Violin Sonata, heard by Andrew Schartmann. '... no amount of writing can do justice to the last three tracks on this disc.'
CD Spotlight. Sheer Pleasure - Eric Coates' commercial recordings delight Patric Standford. '... this collection has its own particular value ...'
CD Spotlight. Marvellous Sounds - Rachmaninov's All-Night Vigil, admired by Robert Anderson. '... tender and powerful ...'
CD Spotlight. Higher Truth - The Wihan Quartet plays Schubert, heard by Andrew Schartmann. '... one of the most important interpreters ...'
CD Spotlight. A Winning Combination - Songs, ballads and rondos based on Haydn, enjoyed by Howard Smith. '... unfailingly practiced in late eighteenth century performing style ...'
CD Spotlight. Virtually Unknown - Piano music by Federico Ruiz, heard by Ron Bierman. 'Clara Rodríguez ... has the right touch and interpretation for all of Ruiz's many styles.'
CD Spotlight. No Faulting - Bach arrangements for string trio, heard by Howard Smith. '... their adroit three-part Baroque 'dovetailing' never lapsed ...'
CD Spotlight. Freedom and Improvisation - A recital by Wissam Boustany, recommended by Ron Bierman. 'He commands an exceptional range of styles and techniques.'
CD Spotlight. Drama and Poetry - Schubert late string quartets, recommended by Howard Smith. '... as good as it gets.'
CD Spotlight. Different Idioms - Clarinet music by Brahms, Mendelssohn and Schumann, heard by Robert Anderson. 'Emma Johnson and John Lenehan make a fine partnership ...'
CD Spotlight. A Distinctive Imprint - J S Bach keyboard concertos, heard by Howard Smith. '... stunning aeration ...'
CD Spotlight. Stylish Playing - Some recommended commercial recordings, heard by Bill Newman. 'How dare they!'
CD Spotlight. An Outright Winner - Dave Lee and friends' horn-centred pot pourri, strongly recommended by Howard Smith. '... positively mesmerizing ...'
CD Spotlight. Strikingly Appropriate - Music by David Jephcott, heard by Howard Smith. '... drastically short on musical fibre.'
CD Spotlight. Superlative Performers - A buoyant divertissement of eclectic items, heartily recommended by Howard Smith. '... a true delight ...'
CD Spotlight. Many Levels - Chamber music by Mozart and Smetana, heard by Howard Smith. '... judged to perfection ...'
DVD Spotlight. Forthright Tempos - The Wihan Quartet plays Beethoven, heard by Howard Smith. '... little to truly set their work apart ...'
CD Spotlight. Matchless Artistry - The Wihan Quartet plays Dvorák, recommended by Howard Smith. '... the finest of bravura chamber performances.'
Profile. With Perfection in Mind - Bill Newman talks to all four members of the Wihan Quartet
CD Spotlight. A Shattered Mirror - Paganini caprices arranged for string quartet, heard by Howard Smith. '... technically cluttered.'
CD Spotlight. Perfection of Ensemble - Beethoven's early string quartets, heard by Robert Anderson. '... no excuse for the near-supersonic velocity ...'
Wales loses its patriarch - Roderic Dunnett pays tribute to the Welsh composer Alun Hoddinott, who died in March