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. Existential Uncertainty - Symphonic and chamber music by Christopher Gunning, recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... both performances are nothing short of exhilarating ...'

CD Spotlight. Another Path to Modernism - John Dante Prevedini listens to an anthology of Swedish orchestral music. '... a rich expressiveness underneath the veil of subtlety and self-restraint.'

CD Spotlight. A Very Special CD - Band music by John Philip Sousa, recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Sensitive and engrossingly passionate performances ...'

CD Spotlight. The Sound Frontier - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to music for orchestra and electronics by Nicola Sani. '... of undoubted interest to all those who explore the new frontiers of sound.'

CD Spotlight. A Prolific Composer - Orchestral music by Czech composer Paul Wranitzky, warmly recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Sensitive and engrossingly passionate performances ...'

CD Spotlight. An Inspiring Testament - Hungarian music played by the Offenburg String Trio, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Sensitive and engrossingly passionate performances ...'

CD Spotlight. What to do with Bach? - Patrick Maxwell listens to the 'Goldberg Variations' on the accordion. 'Telari plays with an alluring sensitivity ...'

CD Spotlight. Hugely Influential - Music by Richard Addinsell, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... absolutely enthralling, revelatory and consistently vibrant.'

CD Spotlight. Stravinsky's Breakthrough - Gerald Fenech listens to Diaghilev's commissions. '... absolutely enthralling, revelatory and consistently vibrant.'

CD Spotlight. Many Hidden Nuances - Monteverdi organ works, reviewed by Gerald Fenech. 'Kriju Koetsveld is a keen advocate of this repertoire ...'

CD Spotlight. Beautifully Crafted - Music by Dutch composer Hendrik Andriessen, recommended by Geoff Pearce. '... absolutely inspirational ...'

CD Spotlight. Flowing Melodies - Romantic music for piano and orchestra by Jerzy Gablenz and Ignacy Jan Paderewski, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... full of bouncy energy, exuberant flair and spectacular pianism ...'

CD Spotlight. Magical Equilibrium - Patrick Maxwell listens to Mozart Violin Sonatas played by Oscar Shumsky and Leopold Mittman. '... a striking hold over tone and articulation ...'

CD Spotlight. Heartfelt Pathos - Juan Bautista Cansino's Stabat Mater, strongly recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... serenity and resignation beyond comprehension.'

CD Spotlight. Extremely Rare - 'Mademoiselle de Belle-Isle' by Spyridon Samaras, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Performances are excellent ...'

CD Spotlight. A Strong Partnership - Riviera Lazeri and David Boldrini play Martinů Cello Sonatas, heard by Geoff Pearce. '... the performances on this disc are truly very admirable.'

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 ...'

CD Spotlight. Transcendental Studies - The music of English composer Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji from an Italian perspective, by Giuseppe Pennisi. 'On the two CDs, Fredrik Ullén demonstrates enthusiasm for Sorabji as well as high technical skills.'

CD Spotlight. A Monumental Composition - Bruckner's first symphony transcribed for organ, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... towering performances ...'

CD Spotlight. The Composer-Pianist Reimagined - John Dante Prevedini listens to music by contemporary Norwegian composer-pianist Andreas Ihlebæk. '... a rich expressiveness underneath the veil of subtlety and self-restraint.'

CD Spotlight. Intensely Personal and Complex - Gerald Fenech listens to Mahler's Seventh Symphony on a recording from a brand new label. 'Kirill Petrenko keeps the music flowing with grace and conviction ...'

CD Spotlight. A Bridge between Musical Cultures - Music by Lukas Ligeti, heard by Giuseppe Pennisi. 'If you like electronic music and African (even archaic) music, this CD is your perfect cup of tea.'

CD Spotlight. Truly Breathtaking Music - Willem Jeths' Requiem, recommended by Geoff Pearce. 'Kelly God is phenomenal and James Gaffigan's direction of the very fine forces is inspired.'

CD Spotlight. Rachmaninov's 'Choral Symphony' - Stephen Francis Vasta is impressed by Dmitrij Kitajenko's recordings of Rachmaninov and Taneyev. '... a colourful, engaged reading ...'

CD Spotlight. An Invaluable Collection - Symphonies by Marcel Poot, heard by Geoff Pearce. '... generally the playing and sound is very good.'

CD Spotlight. Truly Exciting - Music by Alexander von Zemlinsky and Franz Schreker, recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Petrenko has this music in his blood, and the performances have a sweep and power that keep you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end.'

CD Spotlight. Challenging Music - Erwin Schulhoff's only opera, 'Flammen', reviewed by Gerald Fenech. 'The performance is exhilarating and the recording sumptuous.'

CD Spotlight. A Kiss from the Queen - Johann Strauss II's only opera, 'Ritter Pásmán', heard by Gerald Fenech. '... vibrantly performed by the Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra and finely conducted by Alfred Walter.'

CD Spotlight. Delightful and Colourful - Geoff Pearce recommends a new Chandos recording of music by Henri Dutilleux. 'This music will delight all who hear it ...'

CD Spotlight. Innermost Tenderness - Gerald Fenech listens to arias by Johann Joseph Fux. 'Maria Ladurner is an inspired and impassioned advocate of Fux's music, and her supreme performances have a thrilling realism that brings out all the contrasting timbres of this fragile yet gravitas-filled music.'

CD Spotlight. The Roaring Twenties - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to the first complete recording of Reynaldo Hahn's 'Ô mon bel inconnu'. '... a period-piece that, musically, can be very much enjoyed today ...'

CD Spotlight. Truly Revelatory - Music by English composer Cipriani Potter, highly recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Howard Griffiths and his BBC National Orchestra of Wales players deliver electrifying performances full of rhythmic vitality and lyrical warmth ...'

CD Spotlight. Dramatic Potency and Marvellous Clarity - Gerald Fenech listens to piano music by German-born Danish composer Friedrich Kuhlau. 'Marie-Luise Bodendorff is an inspired and enthusiastic interpreter of this rare but lovely repertoire ...'

CD Spotlight. An Exemplary Partnership - Geoff Pearce is impressed by Mozart Violin Sonatas transcribed and played by oboist Olivier Stankiewicz, accompanied by Jonathan Ware. '... the performances here are astounding.'

CD Spotlight. A Unique Orchestral Mastery - Music by Walter Braunfels, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Gregor Bühl ... marshalls his forces with full-blooded conviction, and his orchestra responds brilliantly to Braunfels' luscious musical language ...'

CD Spotlight. A Master of Improvisation - Music by Roland Dyens played by Anna Mnich and recommended by Geoff Pearce. 'The guitarist is clean in her execution, sympathetic in her musical treatment and her harmonics are flawless.'

CD Spotlight. Modernity and Sweeping Power - Beethoven's 'Eroica' Symphony on period instruments impresses Gerald Fenech. '... Beethoven's intended instrumental balances and effects are brought alive once more in revelatory fashion.'

CD Spotlight. A True Rarity - Adolphe Adam's ballet 'La filleule des fées', heard by Gerald Fenech. '... brilliant orchestration, some knock-out tunes and an abundance of rhythmic energy.'

CD Spotlight. The Perfect Musical Mixture - Gerald Fenech listens to music by Johann Rosenmüller. 'Gregor Meyer and his forces give disciplined yet highly laudable performances, and their commitment to the cause is spirited and vibrant.'

CD Spotlight. Violin Concertos with Oriental Flavors - Ona Jarmalavičiūtė listens to music by Nai-Chung Kuan and Joel Hoffman. '... a new musical experience ...'

CD Spotlight. Technical Brilliance - James Willshire plays piano music by Cecil Coles and Gustav Holst, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'James Willshire is renowned for his virtuosity and intelligence of his keyboard mastery, and all this is on display in this recital.'

CD Spotlight. Highly Characterful and Dynamic - Lucas Ball listens to Beethoven from Igor Levit and Xiaohan Wang. '... most of what this CD has to offer is top notch ...'

CD Spotlight. A Journey of Unending Delights - Music by Paul Wranitzky impresses Gerald Fenech. 'The Neumeyer Consort's performances display a mastery of Boismortier's language that is just astonishing ...'

CD Spotlight. History of an Ancient Town - Music by Paul Hindemith, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'This excellent disc has strong performances by orchestra, chorus and vocal soloists.'

CD Spotlight. A Prodigious Compositional Career - Gerald Fenech listens to music by French baroque composer Joseph Bodin de Boismortier. 'The Neumeyer Consort's performances display a mastery of Boismortier's language that is just astonishing ...'

CD Spotlight. A Lovely Gesture - Stephen Francis Vasta listens to Latvian conductor Mariss Jansons' last concert. 'The home listener, even without visual evidence, can sense that all was not well.'

CD Spotlight. A Dazzling Career and a Dissolute Life - Two versions of Alessandro Stradella's serenata 'La Circe', reviewed by Gerald Fenech. 'Estevan Velardi executes this rare programme with exceptional insight and skill ...'

CD Spotlight. Exciting and Superbly Executed - Franz Schreker's opera 'Der ferne Klang', highly recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Sebastian Weigle conducts this stirring but difficult work with wonderful intuition, bringing out all the luscious orchestral beauty with disarming clarity.'

CD Spotlight. The Voice of Nature - John Dante Prevedini listens to music by contemporary Latvian composer Santa Ratniece. '... the intelligence of the earth itself ...'

CD Spotlight. Different Worlds - Haydn symphonies, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'György Vashegyi ... conducts these absolutely sparkling pieces with formidable authority and unbridled zeal ... and his players respond with some utterly warm performances, brimming with bouncy wit and humour yet equally incisive drive.'

CD Spotlight. A Jewel Box of Opera Rarities - Giuseppe Pennisi explores a CD set marking the Orfeo International label's first forty years. '... at least two masterpieces emerge ...'

CD Spotlight. Recommended by Mozart - Georg Anton Benda's melodrama 'Medea', reviewed by Gerald Fenech. 'Katharina Thalbach is overwhelmingly effective as the narrator, while Marcus Bosch's conducting is intensely committed, capturing all the seething complexities of love, betrayal and revenge, grappling in Medea's heart and mind, with electrifying exuberance.'

CD Spotlight. Beautifully Crafted - Geoff Pearce listens to Lieder by Swiss composers Hans Schaeuble, Frank Martin, Peter Mieg, Othmar Schoeck and Arthur Honegger. '... one of the loveliest discs I have ever heard.'

CD Spotlight. One of Rameau's Greatest Works - The opera 'Dardanus' impresses Gerald Fenech. 'György Vashegyi paces his forces with meticulous mastery, and his thorough knowledge of the score enables him to bring to the listener all the felicitous nuances of this imaginative music.'

CD Spotlight. High Romanticism - Paul Sarcich discovers the music of Robert Kahn. 'Ensemble Émigré have done fine service to Kahn ...'

CD Spotlight. A Strange Beauty - Symphonies by Daniel Jones, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'The BBC Welsh Symphony Orchestra delivers fine performances, as does the direction of its conductor, Bryden Thomson.'

CD Spotlight. Natural Talents - Gerald Fenech listens to Easter cantatas by Baroque German composer Christoph Graupner. 'Christian Bonath and his team give these baroque choral gems the ideal exposure, and reveal them to be the masterpieces they truly are in performances of inspirational nobility and incomparable beauty.'

CD Spotlight. An Important Discovery - Georg Philipp Telemann's Markus-Passion 1759, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi. 'Hermann Max, a specialist not only of baroque but especially of Georg Philipp Telemann, conducts Das Kleine Konzert with rigor and flair as well as emphasis on the dramatic impact of the recitatives and on the moral content of the arias.'

CD Spotlight. Most Welcome - Gerald Fenech listens to French piano duets. 'Paul Lewis and Steven Osborne, two of Britain's foremost pianists, give matchless performances, and their virtuosic brilliance and unique sensitivity to the many nuances of these scores are an absolute joy to listen to.'

CD Spotlight. Performed at the Vauxhall Gardens - Symphonies by eighteenth century British composer John Abraham Fisher, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Michael Halász and his Czech team are in exuberant form and their pleasantly flowing performances bring out all the charm, wit and cheerfulness of this lovely music.'

CD Spotlight. Mascagni in a New Garb - Gerald Fenech recommends a new recording of Pietro Mascagni's 'Iris'. 'Krieger's exhilarating conducting draws from both his singers and players some truly sublime performances, full of unbridled enthusiasm.'

CD Spotlight. Absolutely Fantastic - Music by Schnittke for violin and piano, recommended by Geoff Pearce. 'The performances are great all round, and this is a useful addition to anyone's collection.'

CD Spotlight. Miniature Gems - Gerald Fenech listens to music by two neglected Italian Baroque composers - Alessandro Stradella and Giovanni Lorenzo Gregori. '... precise yet stylish playing ...'

CD Spotlight. Stylistic Contrasts - Trumpet concertos by Alexander Arutiunian, Vladimir Peskin and Alfred Desenclos, heard by Paul Sarcich. '... this is a fine calling card for Selina Ott, who is one of those young players who will be very interesting to watch mature.'

CD Spotlight. Lusciously Fragile - Music by Ottorino Respighi, enjoyed by Gerald Fenech. 'Davide Alogna performs the Concerto with unbridled dexterity ...'

CD Spotlight. An Enchanting, Levitating Musical Experience - Choral music by Arvo Pärt, sung by Vilnius Municipal Choir Jauna Muzika and reviewed by Ona Jarmalavičiūtė. '... performed beautifully.'

CD Spotlight. Continuous Excitement - Keyboard concertos by Franz Joseph Haydn, recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Mélodie Zhao's interpretations are full of warmth and colour, and her phrasing, even in the quicker passages, is consistently arresting.'

CD Spotlight. Benjamin Britten and James Joyce - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to two sets of English folk and other songs. '... very good listening ...'

CD Spotlight. Saying Goodbye - Music in response to Debussy's early death, reviewed by Geoff Pearce. 'The performances are great all round, and this is a useful addition to anyone's collection.'

CD Spotlight. Exquisitely Written - Flute music for Louis XIV's Court, recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'This is music full of gentle sensitivity and graceful intimacy, wonderfully performed and recorded, and a veritable treasure trove from the height of the French baroque era.'

CD Spotlight. Unearthing Lost Cornerstones - John Dante Prevedini listens to music by seventeenth century composer Balthasar Erben. '... the disk itself becomes a curatorial introduction to the composer's entire life and work. The Coviello label evidently understands the weight of this responsibility very well ...'

CD Spotlight. The Dead in the Square - Allan Pettersson's Symphony No 12, strongly recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Christian Lindberg gives a colossal interpretation of this difficult score, where everybody involved is wholly engrossed in Pettersson's unique creation.'

CD Spotlight. Awesome Stuff - Gerald Fenech is impressed by Ilya Gringolts' performances of three violin concertos by Pietro Locatelli. 'Ilya Gringolts' playing is phenomenally spellbinding, and his scintillating virtuosity and flawless execution are absolute joys and wholly worthy of constant admiration.'

CD Spotlight. An Absolute Delight - Volume three of Charles Koechlin's 'Les Chants de Nectaire' impresses Geoff Pearce. '... Nicola Woodward's playing is sumptuous, insightful and virtuosic when it needs to be, without ever being flashy.'

CD Spotlight. Enigmatic yet Fascinating - Music by Rued Langgaard for violin and piano, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'The conclusion of a visionary cycle that is worthy of serious attention.'

CD Spotlight. The Para-Liturgical Art of Tchaikovsky - Ona Jarmalavičiūtė listens to the Latvian Radio Choir. '... the score's full range is captured sharply and sensitively, bringing out the true colors as well as the pure and attractive sound of choral liturgical music.'

CD Spotlight. In Grand Style - Ballet music by Tcherepnin, enjoyed by Geoff Pearce. 'The Moscow Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Henry Shek, performs this music ... with all the passion and commitment such a score requires.'

CD Spotlight. On the March - Saint-Saëns wind music, enjoyed by Gerald Fenech. '... a truly glorious Saint-Saëns anthology wrapped in a different soundscape ...'

CD Spotlight. Fresh and Startlingly Immediate - Forgotten recordings from George Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra, unreservedly recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... the music is dispatched with energetic vigour, which was the hallmark of all Szell's performances.'

CD Spotlight. Living in the Moment - Paul Sarcich explores the music of Pēteris Vasks. '... wonderfully luminous recordings of luminous music.'

CD Spotlight. Engrossingly Moving - Works for clarinet and orchestra by Nielsen, Copland and MacMillan, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'A challenging programme, superbly presented and recorded.'

CD Spotlight. An Unforgettable Recital - Ona Jarmalavičiūtė listens to Evgeny Kissin's Chopin recital from the 1985 December Nights Music Festival. 'From the very beginning of his career at the top of his game, Evgeny Kissin presents a performance that is, simply put, wild.'

CD Spotlight. Beyond Memorable - Hans Rosbaud conducts Gustav Mahler symphonies, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Rosbaud ... lays out the whole range of Mahler's passion with a fiery sense of musicality.'

CD Spotlight. Astounding Work - A second volume of orchestral music by Austrian composer Hans Rott, heard by Geoff Pearce. '... performed with passion and understanding, and the quality of the recording matches this. Bravo.'

CD Spotlight. Charming and Evocative - Geoff Pearce listens to music by Alexander Rahbari. 'The performances by all involved are very fine, and I hope that this will serve to open the ears, minds and heart to music that perhaps, without this fine composer, most of us would never get to hear.'

CD Spotlight. Metamorphosis of a Georgian Soul - John Dante Prevedini reviews essential recordings of the Giya Kancheli symphonies. '... a unique symphonic expression of the Georgian experience ...'

CD Spotlight. A Superb Set - The complete symphonies of Heitor Villa-Lobos, recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Octogenarian Brazilian conductor Isaac Karabtchevsky's performances are fine and show no lack of passion or vigour.'

CD Spotlight. Strauss from the Antipodes - Giuseppe Pennisi reviews rarely-heard François Couperin orchestral transcriptions by Richard Strauss. '... good rendering by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra under Jun Märkl ...'

CD Spotlight. An Absolutely Stunning Experience - Gerald Fenech is moved by organ transcriptions of symphonic music by Anton Bruckner. 'Memorable performances, high-tech sonics and informative annotations complete this superb and innovative first instalment that sets my imagination alight.'

CD Spotlight. Fresh and Imaginative - Gerald Fenech is impressed by John Rutter's sacred music, arranged by Luc Vertommen for brass band. 'Stirringly performed and conducted, this is music whose melodies and harmonies fit perfectly with the sound of a brass band ...'

CD Spotlight. Tristan, Isolde and God Almighty - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Olivier Messiaen's Turangalîla Symphony. 'On this rendering, British conductor Alexander Soddy handles very well the Nationaltheater Orchester of Mannheim, where he is general director of music, and the two soloists, Tamara Stefanovich at the piano and Thomas Bloch at the Ondes Martinot.'

CD Spotlight. Great Entertainment - SOMM Recordings' second volume of film music, enjoyed by Gerald Fenech. 'Iain Sutherland and his Promenade players display no want of energy and each track is tackled with effervescence and enthusiasm, making the music sound even more exciting than it was thought to be.'

CD Spotlight. The Sweetness of Life - Music by French baroque composer Michel-Richard de Lalande, heard by Giuseppe Pennisi. 'The instrumental ensemble, playing period instruments or a violin manufactured in 2011 but after period specifications, is excellent.'

CD Spotlight. An Individualistic Voice - Music by French composer Florent Schmitt, recommended by Geoff Pearce. 'The orchestra and soloists are very fine, and the atmospheric nature of the music is beautifully captured.'

CD Spotlight. Passionately Colourful Orchestration - Gerald Fenech listens to music by Catalan composer Joan Manén. 'Ana María Valderrama's rendition of the Concerto is technically superb, and there's a purity in her tone that you don't experience every day. Darrell Ang gives sympathetic support throughout.'

CD Spotlight. A Double Rescue - Meyerbeer's little-known opera 'Romilda e Costanza', reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi. '... a rescue opera which is worth saving from oblivion.'

CD Spotlight. Animals or Aliens? - Keith Bramich listens, unprepared, to instrumental and chamber music by Enno Poppe. 'These academic new music works are expertly played but won't appeal to everyone.'

CD Spotlight. A Memorable Recording - Music by Bo Holten, heard by Geoff Pearce. '... storytelling at its best.'

CD Spotlight. Jubilant Performance - Christmas music from the Bristol Brass Consort, enjoyed by Keith Bramich. '... the arrangements here are varied and interesting, and the standard of performance quality is high.'

CD Spotlight. Sensitive and Thoughtful - More Christmas music from Clifton Cathedral, heard by Keith Bramich. '... this 1997 choir has a crisper sound than its 1987 vintage, and the ensemble is neater.'

CD Spotlight. A Real Adventure - Christmas in seventeenth century Mexico, conjured up by Siglo de Oro, Patrick Allies and friends, greatly impresses Keith Bramich. 'Siglo de Oro's performances here are superbly well-blended, joyously fresh and optimistic, seemingly flowing over and through the listener, sweeping them along in a stream of Mexican-tinged Renaissance splendour.'

CD Spotlight. An Atmosphere of Serene Beauty - Matthew Washington Kennedy's 'familiar favorites', recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Hugely pleasant stuff, passionately executed and recorded.'

CD Spotlight. A Chronological Journey - A box set of Beethoven's keyboard compositions played by Cyprien Katsaris and enjoyed by Gerald Fenech. '... a clear biographical testament to one of the most influential composers of all time.'

CD Spotlight. Christmas Night - Seventeenth and eighteenth century Italian festive music, strongly recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'This is a compilation full of craft and ingenuity ...'

CD Spotlight. Enchanting and Powerful - Patrick Maxwell listens to Bruckner motets. '... performed superbly ...'

CD Spotlight. Strangely Less Familiar - Telemann Christmas Cantatas, warmly recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'There is no doubt that Willens and his team believe wholeheartedly in Telemann's work, and these pieces are perfectly executed by all involved.'

CD Spotlight. Firm Yuletide Favourites - Keith Bramich listens to a wide range of Christmas carols from Clifton Catholic Cathedral. 'Generally, everything is well-sung, tight and in-tune.'

CD Spotlight. A Tango Like You've Never Heard Before - Ona Jarmalavičiūtė listens to music by Kuljit Bhamra and Davide Giovannini. '... always colorful, never boring, even though at times overflowing with impressions.'

CD Spotlight. Merriment and Joy - Music by Nicola Matteis, John Banister, Gottfried Finger, Matthew Locke and Johann Schop, warmly recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Elegant and full of warmth, these dances are imaginatively orchestrated and extremely well crafted, and the playing is wonderfully affective.'

CD Spotlight. Symphonic Fantasias on Songs - Peter Breiner's 'Slovak Dances, Naughty and Sad', recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Elegant and full of warmth, these dances are imaginatively orchestrated and extremely well crafted, and the playing is wonderfully affective.'

CD Spotlight. Six Composers, Piano, Strings and Voice - Ona Jarmalavičiūtė listens to works by six female composers. '... performed profoundly ...'

CD Spotlight. Angels in Paris - Two sets of solo flute music by Charles Koechlin, recommended by Geoff Pearce. '... Nicola Woodward's flute playing in the two sets that I have heard is sumptuous and varied, and one could not wish for a finer performance.'

CD Spotlight. Revisiting the Close Bond of Violin and Guitar - Kim Sjøgren and Lars Hannibal play music by Paganini and Sarasate, heard by Ona Jarmalavičiūtė. '... very elegant, vibrant, virtuosic and illustrative.'

CD Spotlight. Beset by Misfortune - Gerald Fenech listens to 'Kullervo' by Jean Sibelius. '... beautifully shaped and vocally refined and the voices come across clear and resonant.'

CD Spotlight. Stylistically Varied - Geoff Pearce recommends music by Mikis Theodorakis and Jani Christou. '... the varied moods, colours and textures are brought vividly to life.'

CD Spotlight. An Integral Part of Christmas - Carols from the SWR Vokal Ensemble, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... beautifully shaped and vocally refined and the voices come across clear and resonant.'

CD Spotlight. A Vision of Ambivalence and Incoherence - Music by Kalevi Aho, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... it makes huge demands on the listener ...'

CD Spotlight. Liszt the Pilgrim - Michele Campanella's recording of Liszt's 'Années de pèlerinage', reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi. '... a virtuoso rendering with a very personal touch.'

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. Triumphant Optimism - Lucas Ball compares two Beethoven choral works on a new recording from harmonia mundi. 'I love what the chorus does here ...'

CD Spotlight. Excellent Music Overshadowed - Geoff Pearce has a first encounter with the music of Zdeněk Fibich. '... fine performances and warmth of sound ...'

CD Spotlight. A Unique and Modern Dissonance - The complete piano music of Lennox Berkeley, heard by Patrick Maxwell. '... Douglas Stevens has given all of his works here a brilliant series of renditions ...'

CD Spotlight. Immense Joy - Gerald Fenech listens to Beethoven and Gossec symphonies. 'A first-rate project deserving of the most serious of investigations.'

CD Spotlight. A Philological Discovery - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to a Naxos boxed set of Monteverdi madrigals. 'I think it was successful and is worth listening to by those accustomed to different ways of performing Monteverdi.'

CD Spotlight. Love, Jealousy and Madness - Music inspired by Ariosto's poem 'Orlando Furioso', heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Filippo Mineccia sings with an exceptional timbre that is sensual and luminous, mixing virtuosity with sensitivity, while Pablo Garcia and his ensemble give sympathetic support with their insightful playing.'

CD Spotlight. Enormous Potential - Orchestral music by Hans Rott impresses Geoff Pearce. '... fine performances and warmth of sound ...'

CD Spotlight. Awakening the Joy for Life - Béla Hartmann is impressed by music for clarinet and piano by Brahms and Widmann played by Jörg Widmann and András Schiff. 'In every respect this is a superb CD, combining playing of the highest craft and musical understanding with great works of the past, as well as new contributions which are likely to become established regulars in the modern piano repertoire.'

CD Spotlight. Górecki's Strings - Giuseppe Pennisi compares two recent recordings of Górecki string quartets. '... Quatuor Molinari has a more melancholic approach than the Tippett Quartet.'

CD Spotlight. Time and Space - Geoff Pearce recommends accessible contemporary music for cello by French composer Dominique Lemaître, played by Dan Barrett. 'All the artists involved, and especially cellist Dan Barrett, produce truly inspirational music making.'

CD Spotlight. A Polynesian Idyll - The first recording of Reynaldo Hahn's opera 'L'île du rêve', heard by Giuseppe Pennisi. '... singers, orchestra and chorus are top notch.'

CD Spotlight. Beethoven's Favourite Instrument - Peter Hill and Benjamin Frith play piano four hand music by the genius from Bonn, recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... devotedly recorded, impressively executed, rewardingly researched.'

CD Spotlight. Don Giovanni's Ancestor - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to the seventeenth century 'L'Empio Punito' by Alessandro Melani. '... a real discovery for opera lovers who have not experienced a live performance.'

CD Spotlight. Dash and Verve - Gerald Fenech listens to Piano Concertos 3, 4 and 5 by the enigmatic Camille Saint-Saëns. 'Alexandre Kantorow performs these highly attractive concertos with terrific panache, energy and a forward-thrusting momentum that make the whole project deeply distinctive while respecting throughout the composer's imaginative and innovative bravado.'

CD Spotlight. Ready for a Revival - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to 'Phèdre' - a rare opera by Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne. 'The distinct feature of Lemoyne's opera is the weight and importance given to the protagonist. The role is sung by the Dutch soprano Judith van Wanroij: it fits her perfectly as can be felt in her initial major arias, with chorus as well as with other members of the cast.'

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. Changes of Mood - Geoff Pearce is impressed by Carl Nielsen's music for solo violin and for violin and piano. 'The performances are of a high standard, as one would expect, and violinist Hasse Borup and pianist Andrew Staupe play the music with great affection and attention to detail.'

CD Spotlight. Graceful and Charming - Gerald Fenech enjoys orchestral operatic music by Auber, recorded in the Czech Republic. 'An excellent compilation ... of some really bouncy music in good sound and annotations.'

CD Spotlight. Lightness and Joyousness - Geoff Pearce strongly recommends Josephine Knight's recordings of works for cello and orchestra by Robert Schumann and Alfredo Piatti. 'This is a beautifully presented disc, the orchestra and soloist work very well together, are in very fine fettle and the recordings could easily be put up there with the very best.'

CD Spotlight. Mystical Eastern Chants - Gerald Fenech is impressed by Igor Kuljerić's Croatian Glagolitic Requiem. 'An enticing discovery that has all the hallmarks to command serious investigation from all music lovers across the board. Sound and presentation are first-rate.'

CD Spotlight. Imaginative Prowess - Gerald Fenech listens to piano music by the twentieth century English composer Herbert Howells. 'Deeply attractive music, sensitively played and sumptuously recorded.'

CD Spotlight. The Sweetness of Life - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to harpsichord music by François Couperin. '... the key note is B flat major which at the time was an experimental, almost avant-garde tonality. Jory Vinikour shows it very well and demonstrates how Couperin was ahead of many other harpsichordists.'

CD Spotlight. Particularly Arresting - Further music by the recently deceased American composer Paul Reale impresses Geoff Pearce. 'Although these works are in an unmistakably modern idiom, they are exciting, fresh and performed with panache.'

CD Spotlight. Between Centuries and Cultures - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Johann Simon Mayr's 1814 opera 'Le due duchesse'. 'The richness is clear from the Sinfonia.'

CD Spotlight. A Multifaceted Intellectual - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Saint-Saëns' opéra fantastique 'Le timbre d'argent'. 'From the very start of the overture, the listener feels that this is a brisk and expert ensemble.'

CD Spotlight. A Very Impressive Disc - Geoff Pearce listens to music for trumpet by Australian composer Brendan Collins. 'There is some fantastic playing by all the artists on the disc which is sure to delight all who hear it.'

CD Spotlight. Magic and Mystery - Gerald Fenech listens to music for guitar and orchestra played by Junhong Kuang, Darrell Ang and the Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Pardubice. 'An attractive assortment of guitar music from both sides of the Atlantic, marvellously executed and recorded, with some well researched notes thrown in for good measure.'

CD Spotlight. Hallmarks of a Troubled Mindset - Patrick Maxwell listens critically to the Fitzwilliam String Quartet's Schubert. 'This CD holds within some extremely heart-rending, joyous and emotionally infused music, played by some wonderful individual players.'

CD Spotlight. Somewhat Disturbing - Thought-provoking music by Naomi Pinnock, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'The performances and attention to detail were impressive, which added to my enjoyment and comprehension of the music.'

CD Spotlight. Beethoven the Innovator - Cuarteto Casals plays a selection of Beethoven string quartets, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi. 'All of the highest quality.'

CD Spotlight. A Swiss Household Name - Music for guitar by Hans Haug and Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... the enchanting playing of Marisa Minder is memorable throughout.'

CD Spotlight. In Tune with the Changing Times - Giuseppe Pennisi discovers the eighteenth century Neapolitan composer Girolamo Rossi. '... an important discovery.'

CD Spotlight. Matching Words with Music - Gerald Fenech listens to music for soprano and clarinet by Lori Laitman, Kalmen Opperman and Diana Rosenblum. 'The programme is delivered with panache and polished maturity ...'

CD Spotlight. A Fine Composer - Orchestral music by American composer Barbara Harbach, heard by Geoff Pearce. '... the London Philharmonic Orchestra is very fine and conductor David Angus obviously provides great insight into how this music should be performed.'

CD Spotlight. New York, New York - Giuseppe Pennisi is impressed by Joanne Chang's piano recital featuring music by Debussy, Ravel, Scriabin, Ernesto Lecuona and May Aufderheide. 'She is very passionate and sweet ...'

CD Spotlight. Delicate Textures - Songs for soprano and ensemble by Symon Clarke, enjoyed by Geoff Pearce. '... the music is very well-written, thoughtful and beautifully performed.'

CD Spotlight. Quite Original in its Way - Gerald Fenech listens to orchestral music by Brazilian composer Alberto Nepomuceno. 'The programme is delivered with panache and polished maturity ...'

CD Spotlight. Highly Enjoyable - Gerald Fenech listens to film music played by Iain Sutherland and the Philharmonic Promenade Orchestra. '... brought to light with the utmost conviction.'

CD Spotlight. Hidden Secrets - Gerald Fenech listens to twentieth century British piano music played by Nathan Williamson. '... brought to light with the utmost conviction.'

CD Spotlight. An Experimental Shake - Ona Jarmalavičiūtė listens to Shakespeare settings by Brahms, Schumann, Pesetsky and Summer. '... the experiment ... should be praised for its courage and innovation ...'

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. Night and Day - Osmo Vänskä's recording of Mahler's Symphony No 7, recommended by Patrick Maxwell. 'The music on this impressive recording deserves much larger recognition ...'

CD Spotlight. Approachable Music - The complete violin and piano music of Lutosławski and Penderecki, strongly recommended by Geoff Pearce. 'The performances by violinist Michael Foyle and pianist Maksim Štšura are responsive, intelligent and very polished and I, for one, found this disc a delight.'

CD Spotlight. Primitive Brazilianness - Music for piano and orchestra by José Antônio de Almeida Prado, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Beautifully recorded and annotated.'

CD Spotlight. A Sort of a Mystery - Carl Nielsen's incidental music for the play 'The Mother', recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... an interpretation of the utmost precision, with tempi and dynamics handled with vibrant, life-affirming gusto.'

CD Spotlight. An Unusual Debut - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to music by Ravel, James Francis Brown and Liana Alexandra, performed by Andrea Oliva and the Hemisphaeria Trio. '... an innovative program by a very promising ensemble.'

CD Spotlight. Ostentatiously Evocative - Vadim Gluzman plays music by Pēteris Vasks, heard by Patrick Maxwell. 'The music on this impressive recording deserves much larger recognition ...'

CD Spotlight. Well Worth Supporting - Geoff Pearce listens to the third symphony by Italian-born American composer John A Carollo. '... a distinct, assured musical voice which is not quite like anyone else I have heard.'

CD Spotlight. Soulful Awareness - Patrick Maxwell listens to Margarita Gritskova and Maria Prinz performing Prokofiev songs. '... played with a precise and enjoyable dexterity and with admirable clarity; the collection as a whole deserves to be celebrated.'

CD Spotlight. Fascinatingly Exuberant and Bold - Gerald Fenech explores the music of American composer Aaron Jay Kernis. 'Giancarlo Guerrero and his Nashville Symphony are ardent advocates of the composer ...'

CD Spotlight. Impressive Dexterity - Gerald Fenech listens to orchestral music by American composers William Dawson and Ulysses Kay. 'Arthur Fagen draws some immaculate playing from his Viennese Orchestra ...'

CD Spotlight. A Fascinating Insight - Geoff Pearce enjoys piano music by the late Paul Reale, played by John Jensen. 'The composer regarded Jensen as his ideal interpreter ...'

CD Spotlight. Passionate Language - Violin Concertos by the late Myroslav Skoryk, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Andrej Bielow is an enthusiastic advocate of his compatriot's music, and his flowing virtuosity gives these works a glowing attire; also, concern to every phrase and nuance is consistently in focus. Sirenko and his Ukraine ensemble give unbridled support.'

CD Spotlight. Gentle and Tender Stravinsky - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to violin and piano music by the Russian master. '... a new and beautiful reading ...'

CD Spotlight. Lively and Dynamic - Geoff Pearce listens to symphonies by Czech composer Franz Krommer. 'This interesting and enjoyable disc will delight most listeners rather than astound them.'

CD Spotlight. Unfamiliar yet Totally Rewarding - Gerald Fenech listens to symphonies by the twentieth century Norwegian composer Eivind Groven. 'The Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra delivers performances that are convincing throughout, and Peter Szilvay's ardent attention to detail brings out all the hidden twists of these remarkable but unjustly neglected scores.'

CD Spotlight. A Wide Emotional Spectrum - Alexandra Matvievskaya plays Fauré piano music, appreciated by Patrick Maxwell. '... played with a precise and enjoyable dexterity and with admirable clarity; the collection as a whole deserves to be celebrated.'

CD Spotlight. Enticing Orchestration - Gerald Fenech listens to tone poems by César Franck performed by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and conductor Jean-Luc Tingaud. 'This fine issue also includes three overtures ...'

CD Spotlight. Cheerfulness, Humour and Passion - Pietari Inkinen conducts Dvořák's Symphony No 6, enjoyed by Gerald Fenech. 'This fine issue also includes three overtures ...'

CD Spotlight. A Nostalgic Novelty - Paul English's 'Girl in Green', reviewed by Ona Jarmalavičiūtė. '... feels personal and human, bringing charged emotion.'

CD Spotlight. A Powder-keg of Uncontrolled Passions - Gerald Fenech is impressed with this new recording of Korngold's 'Violanta'. '... Pinchas Steinberg's insightful reading draws some hot-blooded singing and playing.'

CD Spotlight. Romantic Concertos - Geoff Pearce listens to Dohnányi's two piano concertos. 'Sofja Gülbadamova is a superb pianist who obviously identifies with this composer and has the crispness, accuracy and flair to bring off these two works.'

CD Spotlight. Resplendent Sound - Stephen Francis Vasta has mixed feelings about Mariss Jansons' 2008 recording of Bruckner's 'Romantic' Symphony. 'I enjoyed the focus and resonance of the bass strings, providing a solid support for the full orchestra; the lovely clarity of the woodwind principals - the bright, forward oboes and clarinets suggest the organ's reed stops - and the brass choir's full-bodied depth.'

CD Spotlight. Full of Joy - Patrick Maxwell celebrates Peter Donohoe's Mozart Piano Sonatas. '... played with a precise and enjoyable dexterity and with admirable clarity; the collection as a whole deserves to be celebrated.'

CD Spotlight. Haydn at his Light-hearted Best - Haydn Cello Concertos, heartily recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... the brilliant and sparkling playing of Natalie Clein brings out all the beauty of this music.'

CD Spotlight. Extraordinarily Gifted - Hans Rosbaud conducts Beethoven, and Gerald Fenech is impressed. 'These exceptional recordings, taped between 1953 and 1962, reveal a conductor of exceptional insight and unbounded energy, and these interpretations can be safely considered as among the very best of their time.'

CD Spotlight. Baroque Minimalism and 21st Century Minds - Ona Jarmalavičiūtė listens to music for violin by Philip Glass. 'The magic of this iconic figure in American music is still aweing listeners.'

CD Spotlight. Fierce Criticism - Gerald Fenech listens to orchestral music by Rodion Shchedrin and Ottorino Respighi. '... a fitting tribute to Mariss Jansons ...'

CD Spotlight. Out of the Ordinary - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to a new recording of Verdi's 'Otello'. '... a new and beautiful reading ...'

CD Spotlight. Full-blooded Italianate Roots - Stephen Francis Vasta listens to Donizetti's 'La favorite'. '... Fabio Luisi projects the score with refinement and character.'

CD Spotlight. Lifting the Spirits - Reformation music, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Five hundred years of memorable music condensed into just seventy-one minutes and performed spectacularly by Jared Stellmacher and Mark Sudeith, sympathetically supported by the Chicago Gargoyle Brass and Organ Ensemble.'

CD Spotlight. Enjoyable Stuff - Liszt, Schubert and Brahms piano works, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Christopher Park's near flawless interpretations have a broad structural vision, and his exquisite and intimate phrasing, while not over-romanticised, makes these works sound even more impressive. The Liszt/Schubert piece is particularly stirring, even more so through the sympathetic support of Eschenbach and his players.'

CD Spotlight. Engrossing Memories - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to music by Gershwin, Copland and Bernstein. 'The Wolf Trap Opera National Orchestral Institute Philharmonic, conducted by James Judd, offers very professional, but not startling, performances.'

CD Spotlight. Soft-painted Colours - Gerald Fenech listens to music by Norwegian composer David Monrad Johansen. 'This is brilliantly performed Nordic music with warmth written all over it.'

CD Spotlight. Very Palatable - Geoff Pearce listens to orchestral music by Albéric Magnard. 'The quality of the performances by Philharmonisches Orchester Freiburg and conductor Fabrice Bollon is exemplary and complimentary to the work of this minor master.'

CD Spotlight. Audacious Symphonic Language - Prokofiev's Symphonies Nos 3 and 6 played by the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Pietari Inkinen and his German ensemble are on top form and both symphonies receive compelling interpretations full of cohesive and dynamic playing.'

CD Spotlight. An Impressive Undertaking - Simon Rattle conducts Wagner's 'Die Walküre', heard by Giuseppe Pennisi. 'The singing and the orchestra raise this performance above the ordinary.'

CD Spotlight. Incandescent - Gerald Fenech listens to the second Naxos disc of Charles-Marie Widor's organ symphonies. 'Wolfgang Rübsam provides irrepressible playing in these two early but much enterprising works.'

CD Spotlight. Distinctly Continental - Patrick Maxwell listens to Brahms from Lars Vogt and the Royal Northern Sinfonia. '... carried off with impressive dexterity by the players ...'

CD Spotlight. Supremely Pianistic - Gerald Fenech finds pure joy in Etsuko Hirose's recent Moszkowski piano works disc. 'Truly hair-raising stuff, wonderfully annotated and recorded.'

CD Spotlight. Very Satisfying - Music for strings by American composer Paul Reale, enjoyed by Geoff Pearce. 'Paul Reale shows himself as a fine composer for string ensemble ...'

CD Spotlight. Special in Many Ways - Gerald Fenech listens to Musorgsky and Ravel, conducted by François-Xavier Roth. 'Truly hair-raising stuff, wonderfully annotated and recorded.'

CD Spotlight. Imperial Music - Giuseppe Pennisi enjoys a recital by Karina Gauvin. 'Here the listener can appreciate Karina Gauvin's superb phrasing and elegant coloratura.'

CD Spotlight. Magical Repertoire - Rimsky-Korsakov's 'Kashchei the Immortal', enjoyed by Gerald Fenech. 'Do not be taken aback; the sound quality is miraculous and I enjoyed listening to this historic venture with immense pleasure.'

CD Spotlight. Great Character - Lucas Ball listens to Riccardo Minasi's interpretations of late Mozart symphonies. 'Minasi's control is great here.'

CD Spotlight. Youthful Influences - Early string quartets by William Alwyn, heard by Patrick Maxwell. '... carried off with impressive dexterity by the players ...'

CD Spotlight. Meaning and Identity - Gerald Fenech listens to Leonard Bernstein's first two symphonies. 'A wholly impressive issue, brilliantly performed and recorded ...'

CD Spotlight. Love's Trials and Rewards - Gustav Holst's 'The Cloud Messenger', recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'This colourful chamber version by Joseph Fort lends the more tender passages a new intimacy and clarity, while retaining much of the force of the original and preparing the foundations for a new life in performance.'

CD Spotlight. A Korngold Renaissance - Giuseppe Pennisi reviews a four CD set of music by the Austrian-born composer. 'The wholeness of this anthology is admirable.'

CD Spotlight. A Musical Goldmine - Gerald Fenech enjoys music by Giovanni Battista Vitali. '... gorgeously crafted music full of melodic sweetness and intensely passionate emotions.'

CD Spotlight. Undoubted Historical Importance - Paul Sarcich listens to music by Nikos Skalkottas. '... Skalkottas is no slave of Schoenberg - he has his own take on Schoenberg's methods and one could not confuse the two.'

CD Spotlight. An Unmissable Issue - Gerald Fenech explores the music of Marc'Antonio Ingegneri. 'The repetition of phrases in the musical exchange between the two choirs becomes almost hypnotic for the listener, and one feels totally engrossed in the Eucharistic mystery.'

CD Spotlight. Full of Colours and Flavour - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to music from Sharon Isbin and the Pacifica Quartet. '... an original program and excellent rendering make very pleasant listening.'

CD Spotlight. A Celebratory Mood - Gerald Fenech is impressed with a new recording of Beethoven's Mass in C. 'Leif Segerstam leads a first-class group of soloists and brings out all the humanity and tenderness of the music with aplomb.'

CD Spotlight. Tonal Brilliance - Brahms clarinet chamber music, heard by Patrick Maxwell. '... Brahms' incredible score is done full justice in this recording, which shows the best of the composer's last years and the glories of Romantic chamber music.'

CD Spotlight. Inestimable Value - Gerald Fenech listens to 'Hypermnestre' by French baroque composer Charles-Hubert Gervais. 'Vashegyi marshalls his moderate forces with a caring deftness that betrays his sense of purpose and engagement with Gervais' score. Indeed, this is a deeply intelligent and attractive performance that should arouse the fresh sense of investigation which it so richly deserves.'

CD Spotlight. Thus Conducted Mariss Jansons - Ona Jarmalavičiūtė discovers a unique listening experience on one of the Latvian conductor's last recordings, featuring Daniil Trifonov and the music of Richard Strauss. '... this maverick CD contains contrasting faces of Richard Strauss, Trifonov's virtuoso skills and one of the last memories of Mariss Jansons' conducting.'

CD Spotlight. Prevailing Classicism - Music by Prokofiev for the cello, reviewed by Gerald Fenech. 'Conductor, soloists and orchestra get under Prokofiev's skin with renditions full of fire and energy, spiced with a Slavonic spirit that complements the texture of the music - mesmerising virtuosity matched only by the genius of the composer.'

CD Spotlight. Unique and Most Compelling - Concertos by Danish composer Bent Sørensen, heard by Eugene Takeuchi-Williams. '... in these three pieces, Sørensen is the consistent champion of the understatement.'

CD Spotlight. Interesting Stuff - Beethoven's 'King Stephen' and other rare works, appreciated by Gerald Fenech. 'Finely performed and recorded, this CD is a must for all serious collectors and admirers of the great man.'

CD Spotlight. Youthfulness and Energy - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to chamber music by Paul Hindemith. '... an explosion of happiness and a real whirlwind from the very fast introduction to the vibrant finale ...'

CD Spotlight. The Host and the Guest - Ona Jarmalavičiūtė listens to a celebration of Eastern and Western musical cultures. '... truly striking performances.'

CD Spotlight. Worth Investigating - Music for cello by J S Bach and Mike Block, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... my feeling was one of spontaneous joy and serenity.'

CD Spotlight. Unpredictable and Beautiful - Gerald Fenech admires volume 4 of Malcolm Martineau's 'Decades - A Century of Song'. 'The programme is mellifluously performed and all the songs give immense pleasure. Martineau's singers have fresh, youthful voices and they are consistently caring for each word in the texts, while his own playing is sensitive and coloured throughout.'

CD Spotlight. Psychological Acuity - Music for harp by Boris Tishchenko impresses Gerald Fenech. '... challenging but highly rewarding music, passionately performed and sumptuously recorded.'

CD Spotlight. Thoroughly Enjoyable - Dohnányi's 'The Veil of Pierrette', recommended by Geoff Pearce. 'The rapid changes of mood and atmosphere are well done, and the playing of all concerned is exemplary.'

CD Spotlight. A Splendid Performance - Rachel Mahon plays Canadian organ music, recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'A hugely enjoyable album, well worth hearing ...'

CD Spotlight. Undoubtedly Colourful - Music by Poulenc and Koechlin, heard by Paul Sarcich. 'Odradek and the Bambergers have produced clean, well-balanced recordings and treated both composers with great sensitivity. The orchestral playing is first rate.'

CD Spotlight. A Dynamic Vitality - Music for organ and orchestra by Saint-Saëns and Poulenc, recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'A hugely enjoyable album, well worth hearing ...'

CD Spotlight. An Absolute Soprano - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to a recording by Marina Rebeka. '... perfect emission ... consummate technical skills ...'

CD Spotlight. Highly Effective - Gerald Fenech listens to miniatures by William Mathias. '... splendid and sweetly unaffected performances ...'

CD Spotlight. Uniformly Excellent - A complete recording of Beethoven's 'The Ruins of Athens', highly recommended by Julian Jacobson. 'The maverick Finnish conductor and composer Leif Segerstam ... and his varied forces give a splendidly committed and characterful account of the complete entertainment.'

CD Spotlight. Eschatological Truth - Gerald Fenech is inspired by Josef Suk's 'Asrael' Symphony. '... Jakob Hrůša gives a compelling rendition that is intense, profound and consistently electrifying.'

CD Spotlight. Fierce Urgency - Bach Collegium Japan's St Matthew Passion, reviewed by Patrick Maxwell. 'Suzuki's forces create this inner energy in a way that surges, through the music, into the crucifixion, creating the mix of oratorio and opera that Bach must have been envisaging when the work was first performed across the church of St Thomas' in Leipzig in 1827.'

CD Spotlight. Startlingly Original - Michael Gielen conducts Beethoven's 'Missa Solemnis', heard by Gerald Fenech. 'The orchestra is magnificent and the choir rises to the occasion with some impassioned singing. Top of the list are the four soloists, whose renditions are nothing short of impressive and iridescent.'

CD Spotlight. Something of a Marvel - Lucas Ball listens to J S Bach, Caroline Shaw and Robert Schumann, played by Amy Yang. '... Yang's delivery can be wild and exciting and even irritable but also depressing, lonely and longing.'

CD Spotlight. Translucent Performances - Gerald Fenech listens to music written for Louis XIII. '... a rich array of delicately chiselled miniatures full of fragile beauty and sweet-sounding textures.'

CD Spotlight. South American Melodic Turns - Music by José Serebrier, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... I was very much taken by the imagination, colour, rhythm and neo-classical expressiveness of the music, particularly in the "tango" pieces ...'

CD Spotlight. Effervescent Beauty - Music by Pärt, Vasks and MacMillan, sung by the Choir of Clare College, Cambridge, impressing Patrick Maxwell. 'This recording from the Choir of Clare College Cambridge under the direction of Graham Ross cements their position as one of the finest church ensembles in the country ...'

CD Spotlight. The Charm of 'La Nuova Commedia Dell'arte' - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Busoni's 'Turandot' and 'Arlecchino'. '... this is a book and two CDs to enjoy and to make an elegant gift.'

CD Spotlight. Opposite Religious Poles - Secret Catholic music by William Byrd impresses Gerald Fenech. 'Absolute joy from beginning to end.'

CD Spotlight. Immediately Engaging - Raphael Wallfisch plays cello concertos by Mieczysław Weinberg, recommended unreservedly by Geoff Pearce. 'This magnificent disc showcases the work of a composer who is still relatively under-represented in recording catalogues and on the concert platform.'

CD Spotlight. Great Advocacy - Gerald Fenech listens to orchestral music by Nikos Skalkottas. 'Stefanos Tsialis draws impassioned playing from his Athens ensemble, and the openheartedness and technical finesse with which these works are despatched is beyond admiration.'

CD Spotlight. Serious and Entertaining - Ona Jarmalavičiūtė listens to choral music by William Mathias. '... each moment ... truly captivates and draws further.'

CD Spotlight. Nothing Short of Heroic - Idil Biret plays César Franck, impressing Gerald Fenech. 'My impression is that Biret does not only interpret these works but she reincarnates them.'

CD Spotlight. A Good Anthology - The story of Dido, Queen of Carthage, as seen by eight Baroque composers, heard by Giuseppe Pennisi. '... this is a book and two CDs to enjoy and to make an elegant gift.'

CD Spotlight. Committed and Highly Energetic - Gerald Fenech listens to Mahler 6 from the Essener Philharmoniker. 'Netopil has stiff competition but this meticulously detailed, immaculately paced, vibrantly played version can stand with heads held high among the most recent issues of this work.'

CD Spotlight. Of Considerable Interest - Music by Gian Francesco Malipiero, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'This excellent Naxos disc is well worth exploring, and performances from all concerned are very fine indeed.'

CD Spotlight. Truly Admirable - Gerald Fenech listens to works by French composer Louise Farrenc. 'An exhilarating addition to the composer's discography, passionately performed and recorded.'

CD Spotlight. Touching the Heart - Choral music by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'David Shuler and his choristers deliver interpretations of sheer beauty brimming with natural and musical phrasing, spot-on-intonation and a glorious tonal blend ...'

CD Spotlight. A Precious Recording - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Offenbach's 'Maître Péronilla'. '... this is a book and two CDs to enjoy and to make an elegant gift.'

CD Spotlight. Strengths and Weaknesses - Gerald Fenech listens to orchestral music by Max von Schillings. 'A very fine addition to CPO's ongoing advocacy of Schillings' oeuvre in detailed notes and exemplary sonics.'

CD Spotlight. Masterly Setting - Paul Sarcich listens to traditional Croatian song plus jazz-rock inflected arrangements. 'The recording of the women is very clear and detailed, the big band has some balance problems ...'

CD Spotlight. Masterly Setting - Gerald Fenech listens to choral music by Kenneth Leighton. 'Performances are of a consistently high level throughout and blessed with a beautifully recorded sound.'

CD Spotlight. A Delight - Song cycles by Mahler, Berg and Rhian Samuel, sung by Ruby Hughes with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, impress Geoff Pearce. 'Right from the start, she shows a more flexible and somewhat lighter voice, but a very good understanding of the lyrics, and she colours her voice beautifully to express this.'

CD Spotlight. Interesting and Varied - New music from Apollo Chamber Players, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'The performances are committed and enjoyable.'

CD Spotlight. Dazzling Virtuosity - Mendelssohn concertos from the Stankov Ensemble and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, highly recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Exceptionally beautiful music, sparklingly performed, sumptuously recorded, with a very insightful essay thrown in for good measure.'

CD Spotlight. A Gorgeous Tribute - Piano music by Ireland and Tchaikovsky impresses Gerald Fenech. '... a fascinating series of contrasts within a framework of spectacular effects.'

CD Spotlight. Exquisite Precision - Early Beethoven from Boris Giltburg, Vasily Petrenko and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, heard by Patrick Maxwell. '... the orchestra and the piano are often interwoven in their lines, and the conversational phrases built up a tension that is perfectly managed by Giltburg.'

CD Spotlight. An Auspicious Start - Gerald Fenech listens to the first disc in the new Naxos cycle of Widor organ symphonies. '... a fascinating series of contrasts within a framework of spectacular effects.'

CD Spotlight. Remarkable Expressiveness - Piano transcriptions by Kirchner, Reger and Brahms, reviewed by Gerald Fenech. 'Uriel Tsachor performs these ingenious pieces with a poetic brilliance that is consistently arresting ...'

CD Spotlight. Unusual and Colourful - Contemporary orchestral works and concertos by James Lentini, Rain Worthington, Jan Järvlepp, Peter Castine and Beth Mehocic, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'The performances are committed and enjoyable.'

CD Spotlight. Style and Panache - Gerald Fenech listens to flute music by Mieczysław Weinberg. 'A compelling disc which should keep the renewed interest in Weinberg's musical legacy on the upward curve.'

CD Spotlight. Exquisite Pacing - Gerald Fenech listens to Mendelssohn's String Symphonies. 'Michi Gaigg and his Baroque Orchestra deliver performances full of charm and beauty ...'

CD Spotlight. High Praise - Gerald Fenech listens to film music by Gerard Schurmann. 'Notes and sound are superb. A must for film addicts.'

CD Spotlight. Fresh and Engaging - Villa-Lobos, Bax and Bolcom from Kerry Duwors and Futaba Niekawa, recommended by Geoff Pearce. '... the sheer musicianship, combined with flawless technique and imaginative programming, never fails to impress me.'

CD Spotlight. Emotional Gravitas - Gerald Fenech recommends this recording of the 1876 version of Dvořák's Stabat Mater. '... this latest undertaking has excellence written all over it.'

CD Spotlight. Contrast and Energy - Modern wind chamber music, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'This is an enjoyable disc with quite a diversity of styles, performed by musicians of high calibre. I think most people who listen to these works will enjoy them.'

CD Spotlight. Why Mahler? - Roger Norrington's interpretation of Mahler's Fourth Symphony, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Roger Norrington presents the music very much as Mahler would have approved, and dynamics are never exaggerated. The orchestra is never allowed to be short on emotion and overall this performance is deeply moving. Anu Komsi is also perfectly cast as the child-like soprano in the last movement.'

CD Spotlight. Interesting and Entertaining - Geoff Pearce listens to music by Paul Reale. '... a fantastic disc ...'

CD Spotlight. Jewel in the Scottish Musical Crown - Ona Jarmalavičiūtė is impressed by Mr McFall's Chamber. '... a vivid kaleidoscope of impromptu freely expressed creativity.'

CD Spotlight. Absolutely Riveting - Kent Nagano's recording of the 1869 version of Mussorgsky's 'Boris Godunov', reviewed by Gerald Fenech. 'Nagano's formidable insight is able to take the listener on a musical journey into the dark depths of the human soul. Painful, yes, but unmissable.'

CD Spotlight. A Distinctive Scottish Flavour - Geoff Pearce listens to chamber music and songs by Judith Weir. '... a fantastic disc ...'

CD Spotlight. The Harpsichord's Newest Reincarnation - Ona Jarmalavičiūtė listens to twentieth century harpsichord concertos. 'Not many harpsichord players are as multifaceted and expressive as Jory Vinikour when interpreting modern music.'

CD Spotlight. Dramatic Stuff - Sibelius' 'Kullervo', recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'The foremost Sibelius conductor Hannu Lintu's interpretation is brimming with maturity and grandeur. His pacing is impeccable, and he draws vivid singing from his choir and soloists, not to mention the impressive sense of sweep from the orchestra.'

CD Spotlight. Unhurried and Spacious - Geoff Pearce listens to Ernst von Dohnányi's first symphony. '... a fantastic disc ...'

CD Spotlight. The Merging of Migrating Sounds - Ona Jarmalavičiūtė listens to music by American composer Derek Bermel. '... here the merge is extremely harmonious.'

CD Spotlight. Music of the Utmost Beauty - Gerald Fenech listens to Weber's 'Euryanthe'. '... highly charged emotional singing, felicitous and lush playing, and the ensemble and choral pieces are brought off with panache and precision.'

CD Spotlight. Charming and Engaging - Geoff Pearce recommends Alexander Moyzes' Dances from Slovakia. '... colourful and joyful music, beautifully performed ...'

CD Spotlight. The French Romantic Experience - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to a CD box set from Palazzetto Bru Zane in Venice. '... almost a mini course in French Romantic music, and well worth a try.'

CD Spotlight. A Tradition Still Alive - Gerald Fenech listens to Advent carols from King's College London. 'A hugely beautiful issue, full of inspiring singing and emotional joy, performed with fine control, impressive depth of tone and a dynamic range that commands one's admiration from start to finish.'

CD Spotlight. Highly Enjoyable - Patrick Maxwell listens to Brahms from the Primrose Piano Quartet. '... the playing is meticulous and the overall effect magnificent.'

CD Spotlight. Gounod's First Faust of 1859 - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Christophe Rousset's new recording from Bru Zane. 'Everything is lighter, softer, more sensual.'

CD Spotlight. Judged to Perfection - Baroque oboe sonatas played by Xenia Löffler, strongly recommended by Geoff Pearce. '... played very pleasingly with great style and panache by all instruments concerned.'

CD Spotlight. Arrangements for Chamber Orchestra - Gerald Fenech listens to scaled-down Busoni, Debussy and Mahler. 'All four works retain a certain freshness in their new garb, and despite the sound world created being slightly less opulent than their orchestral originals, they still acquire a more fully-fleshed structure than some keyboard reductions.'

CD Spotlight. Great Character - Lucas Ball listens to the latest volume in James Brawn's Beethoven series. '... the sort of technical control and agility that you get from many world class artists.'

CD Spotlight. Sparkingly Virtuosic - Kim Cook plays music for cello and orchestra by Elgar, Schumann, Dvořák and Strauss, recommended by Geoff Pearce. 'The soloist, when she enters, is authoritative, warm and very sure footed, and reveals what a remarkable artist she is.'

CD Spotlight. Deeply Humane - Patrick Maxwell listens to music by John Dowland. '... the exquisite word-painting comes through brilliantly ...'

CD Spotlight. Fresh and Natural - Leila Schayegh plays Vivaldi's 'Four Seasons', heard by Gerald Fenech. '... she succeeds brilliantly with some magical playing full of "joie de vivre" and silhouetted tone painting.'

CD Spotlight. Delicately Played - Ali Hirèche plays Chopin, heard by Patrick Maxwell. 'Hirèche manages to give an impeccable portrait of Chopin, through a mixture of the multiple skills required to give an effervescent yet intimate feel to the music.'

CD Spotlight. A Glittering Compilation - Spanish Christmas music from Stile Antico impresses Gerald Fenech. 'Flawless performances by Stile Antico, added to some impressive sonics and eye-catching presentation ...'

CD Spotlight. Handel and the Roman Baroque School - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Lorenzo Tozzi's Romabarocca Ensemble. '... a precious CD from which to learn little known aspects of baroque music ...'

CD Spotlight. To Be or Not To Be - Franco Faccio's opera 'Amleto', heard by Gerald Fenech. 'A must for all opera lovers, particularly those interested in nineteenth century Italian repertoire.'

CD Spotlight. Something of Rare Beauty - Twentieth century oboe sonatas by York Bowen, Petr Eben, Henri Dutilleux, Eugène Bozza, Francis Poulenc and Camille Saint-Saëns, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'What a fantastic and inspiring team Alex Klein and Phillip Bush make.'

CD Spotlight. An Introspective Reflection - Ona Jarmalavičiūtė listens to music created by Australian composer Mark John McEncroe. '... beautiful music is currently in demand, and there are listeners for Mark John McEncroe's emotional platform.'

CD Spotlight. Impressive and Delightful - Geoff Pearce listens to Martin Setchell playing the Christchurch Town Hall Rieger organ in New Zealand. '... a wide range of organ music that I am sure will delight lovers of fine organ playing.'

CD Spotlight. Vintage Rossini - A Munich recording of the early opera 'Sigismondo', heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Keri Lynn Wilson paces the work with an uncanny tempo that strikes an ideal balance between the psychological and musical aspects of the opera, and her conducting is consistently sensitive to the nuanced phrasing and textures of the score.'

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.'

CD Spotlight. The Connection that Musical Depth Provides - Ona Jarmalavičiūtė writes about a new CD of music by Peruvian composer Jimmy López Bellido

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.'