RECENT: Defining Our Field - what is 'classical music' to us, why are we involved and what can we learn from our differences? Read John Dante Prevedini's essay, watch the panel discussion and make your own comments.
On 17 June 1882 was born the Russian composer Igor Stravinsky, son of the principal bass at the Imperial Opera at St Petersburg. He studied with Rimsky-Korsakov. Having met Diaghilev he was invited to compose for the Ballets Russes, and there followed Firebird, Petrouchka, and The Rite of Spring. From thereon his career blossomed and demand for his music was constant. He died on 6 April 1971.
CD Spotlight. An Exquisite Compilation - A selection of popular orchestral music, recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Spiritedly performed and superbly recorded ...'
Ensemble. A Long Love Affair - Giuseppe Pennisi attends the Stravinsky anniversary celebrations in Rome
Ensemble. The Seven Year Itch - Giuseppe Pennisi visits the Chigiana International Festival and Summer Academy
CD Spotlight. Stravinsky's Breakthrough - Gerald Fenech listens to Diaghilev's commissions. '... absolutely enthralling, revelatory and consistently vibrant.'
Defining Our Field - John Dante Prevedini asks what is 'classical music' to us, why are we involved and what can we learn from our differences?
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.'
Ensemble. Elegant and Innovative - Giuseppe Pennisi experiences Teatro dell'Opera di Roma's Homage to Stravinsky
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. 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. Gentle and Tender Stravinsky - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to violin and piano music by the Russian master. '... a new and beautiful reading ...'
120 Years Ago - A snapshot of the musical world at the turn of the twentieth century, by George Colerick
Astonishing Control - Mike Wheeler experiences a completely transfixed audience at Chinese-born pianist Ji Liu's recital of music by Stephen Hough, Debussy, Ji Liu, Beethoven, York Bowen and Stravinsky
Ensemble. Packed With Good Things - Roderic Dunnett reports from the 2019 Three Choirs Festival in Gloucester
Ensemble. Fierce Commitment - Gillian Moore talks about her book 'The Rite of Spring. The Music of Modernity' and then Philip Moore and Hugh Watkins play Stravinsky's 'Le Sacre du printemps', preceded by John Adams' 'Hallelujah Junction', all reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Mastery and Versatility - Giuseppe Pennisi attends three Tokyo Ballet performances in Rome
Microtonal Trills and Tremolos - Luca Luciano pushes the boundaries of clarinet playing, impressing Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Cunningly Put Together - Debussy, Bartók and Stravinsky from Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, plus music by Kate Whitley and Eric Satie, heard by Mike Wheeler
Book review. A Multi-art Extravaganza - Ron Bierman reads Gillian Moore's 'The Rite of Spring, the Music of Modernity'
Ensemble. Three Premieres in Rome - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to music by Ivan Fidele, Taneyev, Scriabin and Stravinsky
Ensemble. Satisfyingly Mysterious - Mike Wheeler listens to Lyadov, Stravinsky and Rachmaninov from Derby Concert Orchestra
CD Spotlight. Idiomatically Revealing - Oxana Shevchenko plays Stravinsky for solo piano, heard by Roderic Dunnett. '... finely and deftly played.'
Ensemble. Colour and Energy - An uppity chicken, a cuckoo and much more ... Stravinsky, J S Bach, Respighi and Mendelssohn from Maddy Aldis-Evans, Benedict Holland, Frank Zielhorst and Sinfonia Viva impress Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Double Meanings? - Seattle-based ensemble Torch, heard by Keith Bramich. '... the music sounds modern, jazzy, light and almost aleatoric-sounding.'
Plangent and Nimble - Naples-born clarinettist and composer Luca Luciano impresses Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Divisive and Enigmatic - Piano music by Stravinsky, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Peter Donohoe has always been an ardent admirer of the composer, and these interpretations reveal this sincere attachment.'
Ensemble. A Short Bittersweet Opera - Stravinsky's 'A Soldier's Tale', heard by Giuseppe Pennisi
CD Spotlight. Explosive Classics - A Chandos orchestral compilation, enjoyed by Gerald Fenech. '... the programme is as explosive as one can hope for.'
Ensemble. Civil Engagement - Giuseppe Pennisi discusses operas representing intrigues which couldn't be discussed in public
Ensemble. Most Impressive - Mozart, Enescu, Stravinsky and Brahms from Savitri Grier and Richard Uttley, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. An Attractive Sound-world - Mike Wheeler listens to the Thorne Trio
Ensemble. Well Scrubbed-up and Dapper - Sinfonia Viva and conductor Duncan Ward, with guest soloists Cordelia Williams and Alice Zawadzki, leave a deep impression on Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Crystalline Beauty - Stravinsky choral music, highly recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... Stravinsky's blend of the mystic and mundane never ceases to astound.'
CD Spotlight. Exceptional Clarity - Masaaki Suzuki conducts Stravinsky, recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... immaculately performed ...'
Ensemble. Echo of Globalization - France at the Festival of Nations, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Very Effective - Igor Stravinsky's 'The Soldier's Tale' at the Presteigne Festival, reviewed by Keith Bramich
CD Spotlight. Theatrical Genius - Stravinsky's The Soldier's Tale, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... a splendid complete version ...'
CD Spotlight. Stunningly Atmospheric - Fiona and John York play Stravinsky, Ravel and Debussy, heard by the late Howard Smith. '... worthy of the highest recommendation.'
Ensemble. An Ambiguous Ending - Stravinsky, Sibelius and Shostakovich from Sophie Rosa and Derby Concert Orchestra, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Monumental and Hieratic - Stravinsky's 'Oedipus Rex', recommended by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. 'Fantasia' Around The World - Giuseppe Pennisi visits the big screen in Rome
CD Spotlight. Cheesy Dialogue - Music by James M Stephenson, heard by Geoff Pearce. '... tight, edgy and quirky ...'
Ensemble. Challenging, Versatile and Unexpected - Roderic Dunnett visits Hungarian State Opera
CD Spotlight. Great Authenticity - Stravinsky, Rimsky-Korsakov and Ravel for piano duet, recommended by Howard Smith. '... these performances will fulfill the highest technical expectations.'
CD Spotlight. Vibrant Testimony - Music inspired by the Virgin Mary, recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... overflowing with a translucent beauty ...'
Ensemble. Extraordinary Artistic Freedom - The Francesco Siciliani Prize at Sagra Musicale Umbra, by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Thoroughly Delightful - Maria Nockin visits Santa Fe Opera and experiences all of their 2014 productions
Ensemble. Open-air Performance - A triptych of ballet on tour, with dancing in the monumental Roman ruins, experienced by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Absolutely Luminous - Thomas Bowes plays the Barber Violin Concerto, and impresses Alice McVeigh
Andrew Schartmann's Musical Tidbits - Modulation as a Rate of Change - On the Peasant-Bear Vignette from Stravinsky's Petrouchka
Ensemble. A Runaway Success - Juanjo Mena and the BBC Philharmonic impress Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Velvet Quality - Violin lullabies from Rachel Barton Pine, heard by Howard Smith. '... soporific, inescapable uniformity.'
Ensemble. Terrific Energy - A short double bill from Buxton's Young Artists programme, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Vividly Colourful - Nikolaj Znaider conducts the Hallé Orchestra, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Truth in Music - The Zodiac Trio, heard by Keith Bramich. '... young wine, already highly palatable ...'
Ensemble. Still Radical - Stravinsky's 'The Rite of Spring', heard by Giuseppe Pennisi
Great Delicacy - Jenny Lin at Notttingham's Royal Concert Hall, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Mercurial Accounts - The Hallé Orchestra begins celebrating its ten year residency in Nottingham, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. The Finest of Them All - The 2012 Hereford Three Choirs Festival, reviewed by Roderic Dunnett
He Played Every Single Note! - Alexei Volodin at London's Queen Elizabeth Hall, reviewed by Bill Newman
Ensemble. Tender Lyricism - Andrew Gourlay and the Hallé Orchestra, heard by Mike Wheeler
DVD Spotlight. Seen and Heard - Modern music from the Kreutzer Quartet, reviewed by Howard Smith. '... whimsical, fickle and modernistic ...'
Ensemble. Commitment and Energy - Sinfonia Viva contributes to the UK's 'Music Nation', reviewed by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Uncommonly Patronizing - A Stravinsky tale for children confuses Howard Smith. '... convoluted to say the least.'
Courage and Finesse - A recital by pianist Arisu Nakao, heard by Bill Newman
CD Spotlight. Compositional Thought - Piano music by John Corigliano, recommended by Karen Haid. 'Oppens and Lowenthal give strong performances of this music.'
DVD Spotlight. A Modern Orfeo - Music by Elodie Lauten, reviewed by Malcolm Tattersall. '... a pleasing half-hour chamber opera ...'
DVD Spotlight. Not for Everyone - A collaboration between Turnage and Scofield, reviewed by Ron Bierman. '... well executed ...'
CD Spotlight. Charming and Lively - Piano music by Ricky Ian Gordon, recommended by Robert Hugill. 'Nauman plays ... consummately ...'
Ensemble. Achingly Beautiful - Vivaldi's 'La verità in cimento' at Garsington Opera, reviewed by Roderic Dunnett
CD Spotlight. Compelling and Pleasurable - Arthur Friedheim plays Liszt, Chopin, Gottschalk and Henselt, heard by Patric Standford. '... a slightly improvisatory interpretation ...'
CD Spotlight. Striking Power - Leslie Howard plays Rachmaninov, heard by Howard Smith. '... a staggering technique.'
Ensemble. A Deep Impression - Rory Macdonald conducts the Hallé Orchestra, heard by Mike Wheeler
Profile. Humanizing Emotions - American conductor James Conlon talks to Maria Nockin
Ensemble. Christ Re-Crucified - Giuseppe Pennisi was at the Italian première of Bohuslav Martinu's Greek Passion
Ensemble. Deeply Satisfying - Outreach work for Sinfonia Viva, enjoyed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. High Standards - Bill Newman listens to various artists at London's Wigmore Hall
CD Spotlight. Deeply Satisfying - Elena Kuschnerova plays J S Bach, selected by Howard Smith. '... decisive and fresh as a dewfall.'
CD Spotlight. A Noteworthy Introduction - Music by Stravinsky for violin and piano, heard by Howard Smith. '... refreshing naturalness ...'
CD Spotlight. Striking Musicianship - Elena Kuschnerova plays Prokofiev, heard by Howard Smith. '... sparkling, lyrical and appropriately balletic ...'
Ensemble. What does this symphony mean? - Shostakovich's 'Leningrad', heard by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Incisive Energy - Music-making by Natalie Clein and Sinfonia Viva, heard by Mike Wheeler
A Golden Treasury - Havergal Brian on European and American music, read by Patric Standford
Ensemble. Hugely Satisfying - As New Zealand arts funding strikes a sour note, Howard Smith listens to the Vector Wellington Orchestra
CD Spotlight. Impeccable - Music by Szymanowski, Webern and Schoeck, recommended by Ron Bierman. 'The quartet plays with authority throughout ...'
Ensemble. Orchestral Firepower - Lawrence Budmen sends his final report from the 2010 Tanglewood Festival
Ensemble. Impeccable Standards - Bill Newman's pick of June and July concerts at London's Wigmore Hall
Ensemble. Splendid Ideas - Stravinsky's 'Le Rossignol' impresses Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Great Fun - The Hallé Orchestra ends Nottingham's orchestral season, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. A Unifying Mood - A new song cycle by Julian Dawes, heard by Malcolm Miller
Ensemble. A Cross Section - Bill Newman comments on some recent concerts at London's Wigmore Hall
Ensemble. Highly Imaginative - Sinfonia Viva's schools residency concert, attended by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. A Spectral Atmosphere - Murray McLachlan plays music by Shostakovich and friends, recommended by Howard Smith. '... an outright triumph for the label and for McLachlan.'
Ensemble. A True Dynamo - Lawrence Budmen listens to French conductor Ludovic Morlot, in concert with Jennifer Koh and the New World Symphony
Ensemble. A New Dimension - Giuseppe Pennisi reports that chamber opera is alive and well
CD Spotlight. Insistent Patterns - Music by Yuanlin Chen, recommended by Ron Bierman. '... marvelous textures ...'
Ensemble. Crystalline Lightness - A Symphony of the Americas concert, reviewed by Lawrence Budmen
Ensemble. Brisk Ebullience - Lawrence Budmen sends a second report from this summer's Tanglewood Festival
CD Spotlight. Exquisitely Nuanced - Steve Davislim sings Vierne and Chausson, recommended by Howard Smith. 'I cannot think of higher praise.'
Ensemble. The Boys - Bill Newman was at Nettle and Markham's thirtieth anniversary recital
Ardent Charms - Bill Newman reviews two recitals by pianist Igor Tchetuev
Ask Alice - On orchestral horn solos and funding cuts, with classical music agony aunt Alice McVeigh
A Dexterous Journey - Alessandro Taverna at London's Steinway Hall, reviewed by Bill Newman
Ensemble. Full Rein - Sinfonia Viva at the Buxton Festival, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Another Treat - Martinu's 'Mirandolina' at Garsington Opera, by Roderic Dunnett
Music for Musicians Only? - The public turns a deaf ear to improvised music. As for classical music, Jan Dahlstedt claims that having abandoned improvisation, classical music entered a sidetrack from which it has never escaped, thus badly stifling creative progress. If he is guilty of heresy or may have a point, read on and judge for yourself.
Ensemble. A Heavenly Blend - Joshua Habermann conducts the Master Chorale of South Florida, reviewed by Lawrence Budmen
Record Box. An Impressive Crispness - The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra plays Stravinsky, heard by Patric Standford
Record Box. Full and Resonant - Violin concertos by Bohuslav Martinu, reviewed by Patric Standford
Record Box. Dazzling Works - Contemporary music from the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, recommended by Patric Standford
Ensemble. Shade and Nuance - Chamber music by Julian Dawes, appreciated by Malcolm Miller
Ensemble. Grandly Romantic - Vadim Gluzman on stage with the Boca Raton Symphonia, reviewed by Lawrence Budmen
Profile. Rich Musical Experiences - American conductor Joel Revzen talks to Maria Nockin
Record Box. Richness of Colour - Stokowski conducts Wagner, Enescu, Debussy and Stravinsky, enjoyed by Robert Anderson
Committed and Tough - Malcolm Troup plays Bloch's Piano Sonata, appreciated by Julian Jacobson
Ensemble. Podium Celebrity - Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra in Florida, reviewed by Lawrence Budmen
Ensemble. Nicely Judged - Beethoven, Stravinsky and Weber from The Hallé Orchestra impresses Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Intense Leadership - Sierra, Ginastera and Rachmaninov conducted by Alasdair Neale, reviewed by Lawrence Budmen
CD Spotlight. Eminently Agreeable - Piano music by Ahmet Adnan Saygun, recommended by Howard Smith. '... unfailing rhythmic clarity and beautifully controlled dynamics ...'
CD Spotlight. Protean Methuselah - Music by Henry Brant, investigated by Malcolm Tattersall. 'Most of us like to put composers in pigeon-holes but Brant is too big for that.'
Ensemble. Snap and Crackle - The Artemis Quartet plays music by Beethoven, Stravinsky and Schubert, reported by Bill Newman
CD Spotlight. Truly Invigorating - Opera fantasies for violin, reviewed by Howard Smith. '... engaging musical finesse.'
DVD Spotlight. Visually Captivating - The Labèque sisters play Stravinsky and Debussy, reviewed by Patric Standford. 'Altogether an impressive production with excellent performances.'
Postlude - Jennifer Paull writes on the 25th Anniversary of the death of Cathy Berberian
Rui dos Reis - Jennifer Paull interviews and investigates the Portuguese composer-pianist
Julian Jacobson - No longer one of British music's best-kept secrets! As reported by Malcolm Troup
Ensemble. Dispiritingly Unmusical - The Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra of Moscow Radio on tour, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Formidable Technique - Elena Kuschnerova plays Stravinsky, recommended by Howard Smith. '... unrivalled.'
Elgar and Englishness - Alistair Hinton takes issue with Patric Standford's recent 'Provocative Thoughts'
Ensemble. Magical - A Stravinsky and Purcell double bill at Opera North, enjoyed by Mike Wheeler
Limitless Combinatorics - Eric Pettine postulates 'No Shortage of Melodies Anytime Soon', and offers some real hope for cynical musicians who think they've heard it all
Ensemble. Strange Bedfellows - 'Les Noces' and 'Dido and Aeneas' at Opera North in Leeds. Patric Standford was at the first night on 5 May 2007
Ensemble. Wondrous Colours - Alessio Bax and Lucille Chung play Schubert, Ravel and Stravinsky, reviewed by Bill Newman
Ensemble. A Valentine Extravaganza - Julian Jacobson in the first of his orchestral Valentine Extravaganzas, enjoyed by Malcolm Troup
DVD Spotlight. Sensuous Lyricism - Stravinsky's 'Le Rossignol', reviewed by Robert Anderson. '... both wondrous and distracting.'
Ensemble. Elegant Playing - An eclectic programme by Sinfonia Viva, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Three Premières - Malcolm Miller applauds the latest concert of music by Julian Dawes
Ensemble. A masterclass in performing Mozart - A concert by Stephen Hough, Mark Elder and the Hallé Orchestra delighted Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Varied Influences - Music from Indiana University Southeast, enjoyed by Patric Standford. '... a superb addition to any collection.'
Ensemble. Tanglewood and Beyond - The sounds of summer in the Berkshires, reviewed by Lawrence Budmen
CD Spotlight. Something for Everyone - A new CD from The 5 Browns, enjoyed by Kelly Ferjutz. '... charming, vivacious, passionate and gorgeously performed.'
Profile. Tête-à-Tête - Bill Newman talks to British pianist Mark Bebbington
CD Spotlight. Creative Tensions - A double CD from the Fry Street Quartet, reviewed by Malcolm Tattersall. '... excellent by any standards ...'
Ensemble. Physical and Spiritual - Music on the theme of journeys, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Highly promising - Mei-Ting Sun and the Boca Raton Philharmonic Symphonia, reviewed by Lawrence Budmen
The good kind of music - American composer Sean Hickey in conversation with Ted Kendall
Provocations - Alistair Hinton and Chad Wozniak discuss Patric Standford's recent 'Provocative Thoughts'
Ensemble. Great music making - Cheers for a riveting Canadian dance company at Jacob's Pillow and more music from Tanglewood, reported by Lawrence Budmen
Timings - thoughts about the quirkiness of some of music's hidden secrets - The Clarens Connection, by Jennifer Paull
Record box. Impressive performances - A 20th century recital by the Westminster Choir, recommended by Patric Standford
Ensemble. Lasting impression - Kelly Ferjutz listens to the second of two special concerts in which Pierre Boulez conducts the Cleveland Orchestra
Ensemble. Ravishing Firebird! - Kelly Ferjutz reports on Boulez in Cleveland
Scientific music? - Alistair Hinton replies to Patric Standford's recent provocations
Ensemble. Magisterial Beethoven - A recital by young Russian pianist Denis Burstein, reviewed by Lawrence Budmen
Provocative thoughts, from Patric Standford - Fading celebrity
CD Spotlight. Generous lyricism - Russian cello sonatas, investigated by Robert Anderson. '... alert and accomplished.'
CD Spotlight. An indelible impression - Ewa Podles sings Russian songs and arias, appreciated by Maria Nockin. '... incredibly well done ...'
Second Sight - Music with Wilfrid Mellers - 15. Magic and Innocence. A double bill at Opera North. 'This production, given its musical values, must on no account be missed.'
Reminiscent retrospectives - Magic moments, with Jennifer Paull
Planning your collection - Jess and Moser -
Luminous setting - Shirley Ratcliffe attends a John Tavener première
Editorial musings - 'A composer is or isn't', with Basil Ramsey