CD Spotlight - Classical Music Daily's regular series of CD reviews

CD Spotlight is Classical Music Daily's regular series of online CD reviews, which are always illustrated with at least a couple of sound samples.

CD Spotlight. Uplifting and Inspired - Dvořák's 'Saint Ludmila' impresses Gerald Fenech. 'A piece for the ages, passionately performed and recorded.'

CD Spotlight. Truly Lovely - Music by Petr Eben for girls' choir impresses Geoff Pearce. 'This great disc of an exceptional girls' choir performing the work of one of Bohemia's most important voices does not disappoint in any way ...'

CD Spotlight. Understated Sensuousness - Symphonies by Nikolay Myaskovsky intrigue Geoff Pearce. '... the Ural Youth Symphony Orchestra (conducted by Alexander Rudin) plays very well indeed, especially considering the age of the players. I am particularly impressed by the woodwind and brass, which never fail to impress.'

CD Spotlight. Absolutely Exhilarating - Gerald Fenech discovers Friedrich Schneider's oratorio 'The Last Judgement'. 'Gregor Meyer keeps the drama moving briskly, and his forces respond brilliantly to the kaleidoscopic sequence of emotions coursing through the three sections.'

CD Spotlight. Considerable Appeal - Music by Peter Lieuwen, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'Peter Lieuwen appeals on many different levels, and this offering demonstrates his recognisable and accessible style.'

CD Spotlight. Triumphant Splendour - Gerald Fenech commends the reissue of Roger Norrington's recording of Elgar's Symphony No 1 with the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra. '... Norrington conveys the sweep of the score spontaneously in one breath and takes his players on a headlong ride to the finish which is simply spinetingling.'

CD Spotlight. Very Colourful - Geoff Pearce recommends music by Manuel de Falla. '... superb performances by all concerned.'

CD Spotlight. Hauntingly Beautiful - Rachmaninov's Vespers, recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Although the choir is not Russian, performances are as passionately devotional as one can expect, particularly the soprano and bass sections, who capture the wide range of dynamics with astounding clarity and vision.'

CD Spotlight. Sound Pallette from Hong Kong - Ona Jarmalavičiūtė listens to music by members of the Hong Kong Composers' Guild

CD Spotlight. Imaginative Touches - Rossini's 'Eduardo e Cristina', recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... sensitively dramatic singing, invigorating playing and some glowing conducting from Gianluigi Gelmetti ...'

CD Spotlight. Thoroughly Engaging - Piano quartets by Andrew Anderson, heard by Geoff Pearce. '... compelling and unique.'

CD Spotlight. Full of Surprises - Michael Hofstetter's recording of Weber's 'Oberon', recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Recommended ... if only for the magical sound world created by Hofstetter.'

CD Spotlight. Quite Unusual - Orchestral storytelling by Jon Deak, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'The performances here are very good, the music colourful and inventive, and I can imagine that this disc may appeal more to people with children than to adult listeners.'

CD Spotlight. Bold Simplicity - Patrick Maxwell listens to music from Wadham College Chapel, Oxford. 'The choral sound is well produced, if at times lacking in cohesion, and the interpretations at the hands of Katharine Pardee are well handled.'

CD Spotlight. A Timely Resurrection - Music by Kurt Weill, enjoyed by Gerald Fenech. 'Recorded seventeen years ago, this reissue retains its freshness remarkably well, and the performance of both works is delivered with great elegance and elan.'

CD Spotlight. An Impassioned Account - Seldom-performed Beethoven, recommended by Geoff Pearce. '... excellent performances by all concerned.'

CD Spotlight. Hard to Resist - Johann Strauss Junior's 'Eine Nacht in Venedig', arranged by Erich Wolfgang Korngold and heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Marius Burkert and his fine team of soloists and chorus exude a performance that has subtlety and charm, and the vivid freshness of Korngold's arrangement is brought out with a wistful elan ...'

CD Spotlight. Jollity Ultimately Triumphs - Orchestral music by Dmitri Kabalevsky, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'I am pleased to see this interesting disc, as it showcases an important composer from the Soviet era.'

CD Spotlight. Evolution of a Spirit - Ona Jarmalavičiūtė reviews the latest CD from Donald Nally and The Crossing

CD Spotlight. Lost Gems Unearthed - Gerald Fenech listens to music by contemporaries of the Strauss family. 'John Georgiadis deserves immense credit not only for his painstaking research and wonderful arrangements, but also for his vibrant and energetic conducting that breathes new life into an era that once celebrated life with an unparalleled exuberance.'

CD Spotlight. His Music Glows - Richard Meszto listens to works by Leonard Bernstein. 'Iain Sutherland leads the Hannover Philharmonic in these fine and well thought out performances.'

CD Spotlight. From Russia with Love - Musorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakov and Liadov orchestral music from Dmitry Kitajenko and the Gurzenich Orchestra, Cologne, impresses Gerald Fenech. 'Kitajenko draws some gorgeous playing from his Cologne forces, and dynamic and tempo markings are observed with fidelity. Also, orchestral textures are both warm and revealing of inner detail.'

CD Spotlight. A Fine Start - American recordings of Elgar, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... considering today's technological excellence, this issue is strictly for collectors with a nostalgia for the past.'

CD Spotlight. Particularly Thrilling - Music for strings by Alfonso Romero Asenjo intrigues Geoff Pearce. 'It showcases the composer's skill in writing for strings, and at the same time one can sense his development as a composer.'

CD Spotlight. The Darling of Hamburg - Gerald Fenech listens to songs by Louise Reichardt. 'Amy Pfrimmer's singing is supremely warm and refreshing, and the innocent beauty of these songs is brought out in bright, luminous textures.'

CD Spotlight. Lauded all over Europe - Pergolesi's Stabat Mater, recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... performances are passionately committed, resonating continuously the collective emotion that is mystical and festive, painful and joyous, surprising and disturbing.'

CD Spotlight. Seldom Recorded - Music for horn and piano, recommended by Geoff Pearce. '... two superb musicians enjoying themselves in music which is not well-known ...'

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. Crossing Boundaries - Chamber music by Nigel Osborne, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... beguiling and vivid performances ...'

CD Spotlight. Sheer Musicianship - Geoff Pearce listens to music for viola, played by Matthew Lipman. '... a delight for the listener and aficionados of the viola.'

CD Spotlight. Spiritual and Emotional Depth - Piano trios from the Delphi Trio by Beethoven, Brahms and Bolcom, recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'An invigorating mixture of past and present, brilliantly executed and sumptuously recorded, which is truly worth investigating.'

CD Spotlight. The Spirit of Tango - Piazzolla's 'María de Buenos Aires', recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Bouncy yet thought-provoking stuff.'

CD Spotlight. An Emotional Journey? - Geoff Pearce listens to music for solo instruments and orchestra. 'The performance is very tight and exciting.'

CD Spotlight. An Invaluable Addition - Kathleen Ferrier sings the Bach Magnificat, impressing Gerald Fenech. 'A masterstroke by SOMM and an invaluable addition to the Ferrier discography that will grace any music collection.'

CD Spotlight. A Sense and Taste for the Infinite - Choral music by Rautavaara, Wennäkoski and Livorski impresses Gerald Fenech. 'For those who love contemporary choral singing, this disc should prove a real revelation ...'

CD Spotlight. Freshness and Imagination - Rhapsodies for Piano and Orchestra by Matej Meštrović, heard by Geoff Pearce. '... lovers of music that is tuneful and that does not require deep thought will really enjoy this disc.'

CD Spotlight. Brilliantly Executed - John Kitchen plays British Light Music by Arthur Sullivan and Michael Thomson, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'A gem of a disc full of wit, warmth and colour ...'

CD Spotlight. Great Performances - Music for oboe and cor anglais by Phil Salathé, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'This composer is technically assured, and has a unique perspective and voice.'

CD Spotlight. A Quintessentially French Bestiary - French songs by various composers, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Ducks, peacocks, pigs, butterflies, dromedaries, carp, cicadas and owls are just some of the creatures in the menagerie assembled for this recording.'

CD Spotlight. A Thrilling Musical Discovery - Violin Concertos by Giovanni Giornovich, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Bojan Čičić has this repertoire in his blood, and this shows in performances of exhilarating beauty.'

CD Spotlight. A Compelling Disc - Schoenberg piano music, recommended by Geoff Pearce. 'Yoko Hirota's performances here are truly exceptional ...'

CD Spotlight. A True Czech Operatic Masterpiece - Gerald Fenech listens to Janáček's 'The Cunning Little Vixen'. 'This performance from Frankfurt has everything going for it ...'

CD Spotlight. Deeply Emotional - Alice McVeigh listens to music by the late John Joubert. 'William Boughton conducts with great sensitivity, and the orchestra excels.'

CD Spotlight. Truly Sublime - Mariss Janssons conducts Bruckner's Symphony No 9, recommended by Geoff Pearce. 'The precision, attention to detail, warmth and depth of sound really set this recording apart from the pack.'

CD Spotlight. A Beacon of God's Love - Gabriel Jackson's Passion impresses Gerald Fenech. 'Emotionally charged performances, superb sound quality and highly informative annotations complete a revelatory disc that is wholly in tune with the present Lenten season.'

CD Spotlight. Very Interesting and Original - Geoff Pearce listens to chamber music by John McCabe and David Ellis. '... superb performances delivered by the Camerata Ensemble.'

CD Spotlight. A Compelling New Reading - Anett Fodor is impressed by Daniel Harding and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra's recent recording of Mahler's Fifth Symphony. 'Daniel Harding awakens and keeps the listener's curiosity captive, demanding thorough attention for his compelling interpretation.'

CD Spotlight. Improvisatory Freedom - Gerald Fenech listens to pianist Myron Romanul. 'Romanul's playing brims with an expressive power that generates its own excitement and self-belief ...'

CD Spotlight. Past and Present - Gerald Fenech finds music for trombone and piano worthy of serious investigation. 'Performances are wonderfully attractive, with a certain exquisite timbre and beautifully shaped nuances permeating each piece.'

CD Spotlight. Fascination and Influence - Gerald Fenech is impressed by Lucille Boulanger and friends. 'The talented foursome heard here rise brilliantly to the hurdles presented and performances are consistently full of charm and warmth, wrapped up in an aura of unmitigated sensitivity.'

CD Spotlight. Two Fine Violinists - Stephen Francis Vasta listens to music by Erich Wolfgang Korngold. 'Even the Violin Concerto ends with a downward chordal scale that 'resolves' to a dissonance, "à la" Charles Ives!'

CD Spotlight. Highlights of a Composer - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to music by Nicola Sani. 'The performances by Roberto Fabbriciani and Alvise Vidolin, frequent collaborators of Nicola Sani, were just superb.'

CD Spotlight. Gorgeously Sung - Choral music by Richard Allain, heard by Roderic Dunnett. 'The music is undoubtedly beautiful, without exception.'

CD Spotlight. Idiomatically Revealing - Oxana Shevchenko plays Stravinsky for solo piano, heard by Roderic Dunnett. '... finely and deftly played.'

CD Spotlight. Dazzling Symphonies - Symphonies by Ruth Gipps, recommended by Roderic Dunnett. 'It conveys as much energy and artistry and expressiveness today as it did the day it was written.'

CD Spotlight. Extending the Repertoire - Anett Fodor listens to Hungarian viola player Vidor Nagy. 'The mellifluous sound, the doleful melody, as well as Vidor Nagy's sensitive performance convince the listener that both the artist and instrument are worthy of recognition.'

CD Spotlight. Diverse and Interesting - New works for large orchestra, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'All pieces on this disc are varied and the performances are satisfying.'

CD Spotlight. Scuttling Crabs - Music for vibraphone and wind quintet, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'There is some great vibraphone and bassoon work here ...'

CD Spotlight. A Splendid Compendium - Iberian concertos and sonatas, recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... finely and eloquently played by an ensemble that is passionately committed to creating a sound world that never ages.'

CD Spotlight. Sensitive and Meditative - Kamyar Mohajer's 'Pictures of the Hidden' engages Geoff Pearce. 'The performers here are superb.'

CD Spotlight. A Deep Understanding - John McCabe's 'lost' Australian recording, commended by Geoff Pearce. 'The music is unfamiliar, but interesting, full of surprises and variety, and the fine piano playing is insightful and committed.'

CD Spotlight. Rich and Varied - Songs by Robin Holloway, recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Performances are full of expressive variety and sensitivity, complementing the composer's thoughts with undiluted commitment.'

CD Spotlight. Distractingly Unusual - Peter Navarro-Alonso's Goldbergs re-invented, heard by Keith Bramich. 'It's certainly clever, but I'm not sure what it gives us that we don't already have.'

CD Spotlight. Very Weird - Orchestral music by Witold Lutoslawski, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'This is meaty music through and through and, admittedly, for some this may be off-putting.'

CD Spotlight. Melting Ice - Music from glaciers by Matthew Burtner, recommended by Keith Bramich. '... a slightly romanticised account of the effects of climate change in the far north, which doesn't affect the pure beauty, and often sadness, of these vivid and intriguing natural sound recordings and ideas.'

CD Spotlight. Majestic Feelings - Leon McCawley plays Schubert, admired by Anett Fodor. 'His unique touch, articulation, expressive dialogue between hands and outstanding technique are admirably illustrated in virtuoso passages which demonstrate his remarkable sense of style. This recording offers many memorable moments for the listener.'

 

 

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