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.
Jean Sibelius wrote Finlandia - one work that gained such popularity as to threaten his other, and better, music, including seven symphonies and much else, some of which even today is rarely heard. He was born at Hämeenlinna on 8 December 1865 and died at Järvenpää on 20 September 1957.
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.'
Ensemble. Big Statements - Laurence Caldecote plays works by Théodore-César Salomé, William Harris, Hendrik Andriessen, George Frideric Handel, Wallace Sabin, Herbert Howells, Leonard Butler and Jean Sibelius for the Derby Cathedral Autumn Organ Recitals, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Undeniably Exciting - Mike Wheeler listens to Bizet, Ravel, Debussy, Anna Thorvaldsdottir, Sibelius and Walton from Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, Yan Pascal Tortelier and the Iceland Symphony Orchestra
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.'
Ensemble. Well-chosen Contrasts - Sinfonia Viva is joined by Nottingham Harmonic Choir and vocal soloists for an evening of Sibelius, Mozart, Vasks and Salonen, impressing Mike Wheeler
Glorifying Finnish History - On the birthday of Jean Sibelius, George Colerick discusses the Finnish composer and his music in the light of the politics of the time
Ensemble. A Fresh Pair of Ears - Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov and Sibelius from Vasily Petrenko and the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Collective Talent - Mike Wheeler marvels at The National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain
Ensemble. A Safety-first Programme - Sibelius, Tchaikovsky, Mendelssohn and Dvorák from Alexander Gavrylyuk, Karl-Heinz Steffens and the Hallé Orchestra, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Pungent Melancholy - Derby Concert Orchestra plays Rimsky-Korsakov, Sibelius, Dvorák and Tchaikovsky, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Impish Undercurrents - Prokofiev, Hummel, Sibelius and Mendelssohn from Clare Hammond, Sinfonia Viva and Duncan Ward, found irresistible by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. A Thrilling Ride - Mozart, Beethoven and Sibelius from Angela Hewitt, Yutaka Sado and the Vienna Tonkünstler Orchestra, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
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. Riveting Discoveries - Music from Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... as absorbing as it is enticing.'
CD Spotlight. Winningly Done - Osmo Vänskä's Sibelius Symphonies 3, 6 and 7, recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'The Seventh is a superb exercise in momentum and continuity ...'
CD Spotlight. Very Satisfying - Sibelius from Munich, heard by Geoff Pearce. '... the orchestra responds superbly to Jansons.'
Ensemble. Sonic Transparency - Fabien Gabel and the Royal Philharmonic impress Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. An Ambiguous Ending - Stravinsky, Sibelius and Shostakovich from Sophie Rosa and Derby Concert Orchestra, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ask Alice - On Sibelius growing like a fungus, with Classical Music Agony Aunt Alice McVeigh
Ensemble. Earthy Vigour - Smetana, Beethoven and Sibelius from Jennifer Pike, Pietari Inkinen and the Prague Symphony Orchestra, impress Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Dark Sounds - Sibelius' 'Pelléas et Mélisande', heard by Geoff Pearce. '... Leif Segerstam shows his love of this music by letting it unfold naturally.'
Ensemble. Woman for all Seasons - Gerald Fenech returns to Festival Maribor in Slovenia
Ensemble. Quite Stunning - The 2015 Three Choirs Festival, enjoyed by Roderic Dunnett
Ensemble. Changing Moods - Haydn, Sibelius and Beethoven from the Dante Quartet impresses Mike Wheeler
A Box of Wonders - Printemps des Arts de Monte Carlo, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Highly Successful - Roderic Dunnett looks back to Worcester's 2014 Three Choirs Festival, and forward to Hereford's Festival in July 2015
An Affectionate Eye - George Bernard Shaw as London Music Critic, by George Colerick
Ensemble. Genuine Elation - Brahms, Wagner and Sibelius from Nottingham, heard by Mike Wheeler
Sibelius and Myth - George Colerick discusses Finnish culture and asks if Sibelius was one of the greatest melodists
CD Spotlight. Entrancing Imagery - Sibelius tone poems enthrall Gerald Fenech. 'A magically enthralling foray into Finnish mythology.'
Ensemble. Smiles All Round - Fawzi Haimor conducts Sinfonia Viva and impresses Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Convincingly Integrated - Sibelius, Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky from the Philharmonia Orchestra impress Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Absolutely Luminous - Thomas Bowes plays the Barber Violin Concerto, and impresses Alice McVeigh
Ensemble. Overload - A long evening with the Cleveland Orchestra, described by Suzanne Torrey
Ensemble. Expressive Nuances - Holst, Mozart and Sibelius from Tasmin Little and the European Union Chamber Orchestra, enjoyed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Scruff-of-the-neck Treatment - Sibelius and Mendelssohn from Nottingham Harmonic Choir, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Infinite Hues - Zina Schiff plays Sibelius, Barber and Ben-Haim, heard by Andrew Schartmann. '... Barber's Violin Concerto ... is easily the highlight of the disc.'
Ensemble. Highest Accolades - Gerald Fenech enjoys his visit to Festival Maribor in Slovenia
Admirable Clarity - Andrew Kirk at the organ of Derby Cathedral, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Spiritual Heroism - Grieg and Sibelius from John Storgårds and the BBC Philharmonic impress Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Vividly Colourful - Nikolaj Znaider conducts the Hallé Orchestra, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Profoundly Moving - Sibelius and Elgar from Mark Elder and the Hallé Orchestra, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Enduring Legacy - Sibelius symphonies, recommended by Howard Smith. '... an important enterprise ...'
Beautifully Judged - Mike Wheeler listens to Finnish pianist Juho Pohjonen
Ensemble. Angels and Demons - Giuseppe Pennisi visits Sagra Musicale Umbra 2012
CD Spotlight. Tempting Fate - Songs by Sibelius, Brahms, Schubert and Mahler, heard by Robert Anderson. '... ripe understanding ...'
CD Spotlight. Freedom and Improvisation - A recital by Wissam Boustany, recommended by Ron Bierman. 'He commands an exceptional range of styles and techniques.'
Ensemble. Thrilling Singing - A Sibelius and Rimsky-Korsakov double bill, experienced by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Natural Affinity - Klaggerud, Petrenko and the Philharmonia, heard by Bill Newman
Ensemble. 2011 Specials - A roundup of London concerts enjoyed by Bill Newman, featuring recitals by Alice Sara Ott, the Emerson Quartet, Martin Fröst and Roland Pontinen, the Orchestra of the Polish EU Presidency, Kreeta-Julia Heikkilä and Roope Grondahl, and Martino Tirimo's Rosamunde Trio
Ensemble. Beautifully Played - Bill Newman attends two orchestral concerts at London's Royal Festival Hall
Ensemble. Tremendously Exciting - The Dante Quartet at London's Wigmore Hall, reviewed by Bill Newman
Ensemble. A Deep Impression - Rory Macdonald conducts the Hallé Orchestra, heard by Mike Wheeler
New Year Blues - A roundup of recent London concerts by Bill Newman
CD Spotlight. A Noteworthy Introduction - Music by Stravinsky for violin and piano, heard by Howard Smith. '... refreshing naturalness ...'
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. A Blistering Whirlwind - More from the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Most Memorable - A recital by Soojin Han and Tadashi Imai impresses Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. An Apt Mix - Alena Baeva, Terje Mikkelsen and The Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra of Moscow Radio, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Ingeniously Crafted - Orchestral music by Donald Tovey, heard by Stephen Francis Vasta. '... the Malmö Opera Orchestra plays handsomely for George Vass.'
CD Spotlight. A Brave Show - Choral music by Sibelius, heard by Robert Anderson. '... much here to surprise and fascinate ...'
Ensemble. Hugely Satisfying - As New Zealand arts funding strikes a sour note, Howard Smith listens to the Vector Wellington Orchestra
CD Spotlight. Delicate Refinement - Music for piano by Sibelius, heard by Robert Anderson. 'Folke Gräsbeck is a splendid advocate ...'
Ensemble. Orchestral Firepower - Lawrence Budmen sends his final report from the 2010 Tanglewood Festival
Ensemble. Performance to Cherish - Lawrence Budmen submits a further report from the Tanglewood Festival 2010
CD Spotlight. Elgar and Bax - A sepia album from World War I, heard by George Balcombe. '... intense emotion, beautifullly replicated ...'
CD Spotlight. Subtle and Organic - Music by John Luther Adams, recommended by Malcolm Tattersall. '... vast silent landscapes ...'
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.'
CD Spotlight. Invigoratingly Natural - Van Beinum conducts Mahler, recommended by Howard Smith. '... a tad less frenetic ...'
CD Spotlight. Deft and Brilliant - Sibelius orchestral music, recommended by Robert Anderson. '... in the safest of hands.'
Ensemble. Inexorable Momentum - Music by Dvorák, Rachmaninov and Sibelius from Sergio Tiempo, Mark Elder and the Hallé Orchestra impresses Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Particularly Memorable - Elgar, Rachmaninov and Sibelius from the Hallé Orchestra, enjoyed by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Utterly Absorbing - A sampler from Cedille Records, enjoyed by Howard Smith. '... top quality standards.'
CD Spotlight. Sacrificing the 'unmodern' - Music by Julius Röntgen and Per Nørgård, heard by George Balcombe. 'How could any audience resist ... ?'
Ensemble. Sing ye to the Lord - Roderic Dunnett was at the 2009 Hereford Three Choirs Festival
CD Spotlight. Admirable Devotion - Sibelius songs, appreciated by Robert Anderson
CD Spotlight. A Special Quality - Music by Sibelius for voice and orchestra, recommended by Robert Anderson. 'Throughout the set BIS has maintained the high standards ...'
CD Spotlight. A Broader Canvas - Chamber music by Sibelius, enjoyed by Robert Anderson. '... fresh and unfamiliar music, put across with such conviction ...'
CD Spotlight. Inspired Sibelius - Music for the theatre fascinates Robert Anderson. 'Again BIS has done the great master proud.'
CD Spotlight. A Special Joy - The Sibelius tone poems, recommended by Robert Anderson. '... so sparely wrought and of such integrity ...'
Scrupulously Done - Andrew Barnett's 'Sibelius', read by Robert Anderson
Record Box. Curious and Evocative - Quarter-tone keyboard music played by Joshua Pierce, reviewed by Patric Standford
Power and Delicacy - Beate Toyka plays Grieg's piano concerto, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. A Majestic Reading - Mike Wheeler is impressed by Sibelius, Bach and Smetana from Pietari Inkinen and the CBSO
CD Spotlight. Olde Worlde updated ? - Music by Paul Schwartz, reviewed by Howard Smith. '... consistently pleasing, somewhat innocuous, easy sounds ...'
Ensemble. Mature Technique - Alina Pogostkina with Mark Elder and the Hallé Orchestra, appreciated by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Tanglewood and Beyond - The sounds of summer in the Berkshires, reviewed by Lawrence Budmen
CD Spotlight. A class act - Finnish music for strings, reviewed by Greg Barns. 'Finland's prodigious musical talent is once again on display ...'
Ensemble. Debussy to savour - Malcolm Miller admires Valerie Tryon in recital
Record box. Compelling energy - Music by Tüür, Sibelius and Rachmaninov, reviewed by Howard Smith
Record box. Profoundly effective - Leif Segerstam conducts Sibelius, recommended by Patric Standford
CD Spotlight. Interlinking resonances - A song recital by Malena Ernman, reviewed by Robert Hugill. '... lively and charmingly refreshing ...'
Ensemble. Dazzling technique - Julia Fischer plays Sibelius, appreciated by Lawrence Budmen
Ensemble. Richly sumptuous - The Czech Moravian Virtuosi Orchestra sparkles in novelties from Europe, by Lawrence Budmen
Ensemble. Emotional sound - Tess Crebbin and Sissy von Kotzebue review a Ben Heppner recital in Munich
National ambition - Keith Bramich visits Wales for the opening concert of the 2001 Presteigne Festival
Virtuoso demands - Robert Anderson listens to music by Poul Ruders, Lutoslawski and Sibelius in London's Royal Albert Hall