RECENT: Composers Daniel Schorno and John Dante Prevedini discuss creativity, innovation and re-invention with Maria Nockin, Mary Mogil, Giuseppe Pennisi and Roderic Dunnett in our hour-long April 2021 video.
Robert Schumann was born on 8 June 1810 in Zwickau, Saxony. His qualities as a composer are known to most of us. Not so well known is his discovery of the manuscript of Schubert's 'Great' C major symphony in Vienna in 1839, which he passed on to Mendelssohn. His slow decline from mental instability ended an extraordinarily sad life on 29 July 1856 at Endenich, near Bonn.
Ensemble. Intimacy and Intensity - Ian Bostridge and Imogen Cooper at the Oxford Lieder Festival impress Patrick Maxwell
Ensemble. Backwards and Forwards - Mike Wheeler rounds up his coverage of the 2021 Buxton Festival with concerts by Sarah Connoly, Roderick Williams and Natalie Clein
Ensemble. Three Days in Ravenna - Giuseppe Pennisi samples Northern Italy's high profile and wide-ranging arts festival
Ensemble. Robert, Clara and the Others - Giuseppe Pennisi reports on an Accademia Filarmonica Romana concert in Rome
Ensemble. Cancel Culture and a Cryptic Message - Adam J Sacks listens to the Hong Kong Sinfonietta
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.'
Profile. From Live Performance to Live Streaming - Anett Fodor continues her series of interviews with some of our era's most interesting artists, and today she talks to British pianist Leon McCawley about some of the new challenges to artistic life
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. 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 ...'
Classical music news. Obituary - Leon Fleisher (1928-2020)
Ensemble. A Connolly Smorgasbord - A selection of performances by Sarah Connolly, as part of the Buxton International Festival Digital 2020 Season, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
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.'
Ensemble. A Veritable Cat's Cradle - Mike Wheeler listens to Robert and Clara Schumann, Chopin, Grieg and Cheryl Frances-Hoad, played by British pianist Tom Poster
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. 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.'
Ensemble. A Winning Team - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to a pre-tour concert by Martha Argerich and Antonio Pappano, with the Symphony Orchestra of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
A Call to Action - George Colerick discusses early Romanticism, with particular reference to Schubert, the piano, Schumann and the development of the symphony orchestra
Ensemble. A Neat Idea - A song recital by James Gaughan and David Hammond, heard by Mike Wheeler
Jerome Rose - In the build-up to New York's International Keyboard Institute and Festival, Richard Meszto writes about the festival's founder
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.'
Classical music news. Brahms and Schumann - András Schiff joins the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment for a series of concerts
Big-boned Works - Mike Wheeler listens to Hong Kong-born pianist Rachel Cheung playing Franck, Schumann and Liszt
CD Spotlight. Imaginative Undertaking - Four composers' humoresques impress Gerald Fenech. 'The approach of the young yet precocious Russian pianist Daria Rabotkina reveals an acquaintance full of affection and warmth ...'
A Conscious Tribute - Mike Wheeler praises the remarkably find muscianship of pianist Dominic Degavino
Ensemble. A Delightful Surprise - Beethoven, Turina and Schumann from the Aquinas Trio impress Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Stunningly Performed - Trios by Schumann, Smit, Mozart and Françaix, recommended by Geoff Pearce. 'Music is in fine hands for the future with young artists of this calibre.'
Ensemble. A Deep Impression - Less well-known music for oboe and piano played by James Turnbull and Libby Burgess, appreciated by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Seemingly Interminable - German lieder from Wilhelm Pfeiffer, heard by the late Howard Smith. '... to hear this fine music performed with consummate artistry and fidelity to these composers' wishes I can only suggest you look elsewhere.'
Ensemble. Centres of Excellence - Roderic Dunnett looks back to the 2017 Three Choirs Festival at Worcester, and forward to 2018 in Hereford
Ensemble. Real Emotions - Two concerts in Salzburg impress Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. A Renewed International Chigiana Prize - Giuseppe Pennisi was in Siena for the Chigiana Award concert
CD Spotlight. Absolutely Enthralling - Music for brass and organ, strongly recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Barbara Bruns and the Thompson Brass Ensemble give dazzling performances full of compelling virtuosity and brilliantly executed musical stunts that never fail to surprise ...'
CD Spotlight. Truly Memorable - Carnival music for piano, recommended by the late Howard Smith. 'Goldstone unravels Schumann's variegated vignettes with outstanding technical precision and startling intellectual probity ...'
Ask Alice - Classical Music Agony Aunt Alice McVeigh gives Bromley Symphony Orchestra's Mahler/Schumann concert a plug
Ensemble. The Mercy of God - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Robert Schumann's oratorio 'Das Paradies und die Peri'
CD Spotlight. Translucent Artistry - Vocal duets by Schumann, Mendelssohn and Cornelius, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'The two soloists exude immaculate performances full of smooth, silky singing, where every nuance behind each word and note is brought to light ...'
A Demanding Programme - Richard Uttley plays Schumann, Chopin and Beethoven, appreciated by Mike Wheeler
Book review. Hugely Atmospheric - Jessica Duchen's new novel 'Ghost Variations', highly recommended by Alice McVeigh
CD Spotlight. Rapturous Creations - Trio Karénine plays Robert Schumann piano trios, and impresses Gerald Fenech. '... commanding authority, rewarding depth and devil-may-care exuberance ...'
CD Spotlight. Cohesive Power - Burkard Schliessmann, heard by the late Howard Smith. '... seldom less than impressive ...'
Ensemble. Festive Sparkle - A concert to celebrate the ninetieth birthday of composer Joseph Horovitz, reviewed by Malcolm Miller
CD Spotlight. Priceless Music-making - The horn playing of Dennis Brain, heard by the late Howard Smith. '... a sheer delight ...'
CD Spotlight. Expertly Constructed - Beth Levin plays Chopin, Eliasson and Schumann, heard by Tiara Ataii. '... brilliantly articulated ...'
Ensemble. Off-the-beaten Track - Chamber music from Katherine Jenkinson, Julian Bliss and Alison Farr, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Lyrical Warmth - Dvorák, Beethoven, Schumann and Brahms from Steven Isserlis, Joshua Bell and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, enjoyed by Mike Wheeler
Refreshingly Wide-ranging - A recital by Korean pianist Jenna Sung, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Amongst the Best - Schumann and Strauss from Grimaud and Zinman, recommended by Geoff Pearce. '... a marvelous disc to add to your collection ...'
CD Spotlight. Compelling Listening - Lithuanian-born pianist Vytautas Smetona impresses Geoff Pearce. 'His cantabile playing almost transports you to heaven ...'
A Higher Standard - Malcolm Miller reports from the Wigmore Hall / Kohn Foundation International Song Competition
Ensemble. Sense of Purpose - Schumann and Fauré from The Schubert Ensemble delight Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Shifting Moods - Catalan pianist Eudald Buch at the Buxton Festival, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Well Realized - Varda Kotler and Israel Kastoriano, recommended by Geoff Pearce. '... partnership and sensitivity ...'
CD Spotlight. Contrasting Sonatas - Fauré, Schumann and Bartók from the Jade Duo, heard by Howard Smith. '... high-powered performances ...'
Ensemble. Challenging, Versatile and Unexpected - Roderic Dunnett visits Hungarian State Opera
CD Spotlight. Astonishing Performances - Early recordings by Nelson Freire impress Gerald Fenech. 'An ideal set for ... all who admire this truly great soloist.'
Young Genius - George Colerick investigates the emotional life of Johannes Brahms in his twenties
Ensemble. Winning Flexibility - A recital by Agnieszka Kozlowska and Beate Toyka, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
A Good Fit - Dénes Várjon's Nottingham piano recital, praised by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Out of Tune - Susan Merdinger plays Schumann, heard by Andrew Schartmann. 'Her interpretation of "Reconnaissance" is especially beautiful.'
An Affectionate Eye - George Bernard Shaw as London Music Critic, by George Colerick
Ensemble. Exuberance in Reserve - A wide-ranging programme from Christopher Stripp and Lucy Colquhoun, heard by Mike Wheeler
Certainly Nimble - Mike Wheeler listens to pianist Antony Peebles
Ensemble. Smiles All Round - Fawzi Haimor conducts Sinfonia Viva and impresses Mike Wheeler
Out of this World - Cuban pianist Marcos Madrigal plays Schumann, Beethoven, Poulenc, de Séverac and Lecuona, heard by Bill Newman
CD Spotlight. Extraordinarily Beautiful - Joseph Summer's Shakespeare Concerts Series, heard by Howard Smith. '... immediately expressive.'
CD Spotlight. Collaborative Effect - Martha Argerich and friends in Lugano, heard by Barbara Sealock. 'Among the recorded gems of 2013 ...'
Ensemble. Always a Treat - Suzanne Torrey listens to David Fray, Marin Alsop and the Cleveland Orchestra in music by Barber, Schumann and Copland
CD Spotlight. Matchless Virtuosity - Mendelssohn and Schumann violin concertos, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... Barton Pine's heartfelt response to both slow movements is full of tonal beauty ...'
Wacky and Serious - Mike Wheeler is impressed by Ben Bloor's command of the Derby Cathedral organ
A Thoughtful Account - Richard Uttley plays Beethoven, Grieg, Britten, Bartók, Debussy, Timothy Jackson, Liszt and Schumann, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Impressive Control - A piano recital by Richard Uttley, heard by Mike Wheeler
Beautifully Judged - Mike Wheeler listens to Finnish pianist Juho Pohjonen
The Magic of Performance - Part II - On the Elusive Nature of the Nationalist Spirit in Music, by Andrew Schartmann
Ensemble. Nimble Playing - Music for saxophone and piano played by Huw Wiggin and James Sherlock, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. A Marvelous Listen - Hymn tunes played by William Neil, experienced by Gerald Fenech. '... spectacular and life enhancing ...'
CD Spotlight. Communicative Aplomb - Joseph Rackers' debut recording, heard by Howard Smith. '"Eureka" moments ... are conspicuous by their absence.'
CD Spotlight. Lyrical Radiance - Paul Dean plays Brahms and Schumann, recommended by Howard Smith. '... look no further.'
Ensemble. Angels and Demons - Giuseppe Pennisi visits Sagra Musicale Umbra 2012
CD Spotlight. Daring and Mastery - Pianist Young-Ah Tak, heard by Bill Newman. '... this CD is worth its weight in gold.'
Ensemble. The Finest of Them All - The 2012 Hereford Three Choirs Festival, reviewed by Roderic Dunnett
CD Spotlight. Strikingly Consistent - Elena Kuschnerova plays Schumann, heard by Howard Smith. '... sparkling vivacity and palpable ardour.'
CD Spotlight. Spirit and Refinement - Schumann from the Nash Ensemble, heard by Howard Smith. '... the ensemble seems incapable of turning a single dull phrase.'
CD Spotlight. Joyous Appreciation - Schumann's Piano Quartet and Piano Quintet, heard by Robert Anderson. '... all the requisite drive and poise.'
Ensemble. Luminescently Virtuoso - Erdem Misirlioglu's BPSE competition winner's recital, reviewed by Malcolm Miller
CD Spotlight. Different Idioms - Clarinet music by Brahms, Mendelssohn and Schumann, heard by Robert Anderson. 'Emma Johnson and John Lenehan make a fine partnership ...'
CD Spotlight. Beauteous Tone - Flautist Lisa Friend's debut disc, heard by Howard Smith. '... pleasing and ideally accomplished.'
South Bank Pianists - Bill Newman listens to Peter Donohoe, Richard Goode and Peter Jablonski
Ensemble. Splendidly Evocative - Beethoven, Cecilia McDowall and Schumann from the English Piano Trio, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Beautiful Discourse - Chamber music from Lydia Artymiw, Arnaud Sussman, Toby Appel and Yehuda Hanani, reviewed by Maria Nockin
Ensemble. Remarkable Performance - Eisler, Gershwin, Mozart, Poulenc, Schumann and Weill from Katie Bray and William Vann, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. A Balanced Exploration - Mike Wheeler listens to Ensemble Viva play Schumann, Mendelssohn and Beethoven
CD Spotlight. Buoyant Works - A recital by Amber Yiu-Hsuan Liao, heard by Howard Smith. '... often engaging and perfectly serviceable.'
Deliciously Bubbly - James Baillieu plays Beethoven, Schumann, Gottschalk and Paganini via Liszt, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Innermost Passions - Ralph Kirshbaum and Shai Wosner play Beethoven, Janácek, Brahms and Schumann, enjoyed by Bill Newman
CD Spotlight. Impetuous and Ruminative - Music for cello and piano by Schumann, recommended by Robert Anderson. '... imaginative gestures of great power and significance.'
An Outstanding Evening - Bill Newman listens to American pianist Rorianne Schrade
Ensemble. Sensitivity and Incisiveness - Enikö Magyar and Timothy End launch Derby Chamber Music's new season, and impress Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Illuminating the Spectrum - Contemporary music at Salzburg, heard by Giuseppe Pennisi
Finest Attributes - Wigmore Hall recitals by Danny Driver, and by Jack Liebeck and Katya Apekisheva, admired by Bill Newman
Ever Responsive - Two recitals by Alberto Portugheis impress Malcolm Miller
Ensemble. Tremendously Exciting - The Dante Quartet at London's Wigmore Hall, reviewed by Bill Newman
Ensemble. Musical Outlooks - Bill Newman attends a selection of concerts at London's Wigmore Hall
Ensemble. Tuning in Afresh - Bill Newman listens to Bulgarian pianist Vesselin Stanev
Ensemble. A Great Success - Sergey Sobolev plays Chopin, Liszt and Schumann, heard by Bill Newman
Ensemble. Great Delicacy - Mike Wheeler listens to the Hallé Orchestra in Liszt, Schumann and Brahms
A Pleasant Evening - Lisa Friend and Mark Kinkaid in recital, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Depth of Concentration - Stephen Kovacevich plays Beethoven, Schumann and Bach, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. An Exciting Evening - Jonas Kaufmann's Los Angeles recital impresses Maria Nockin
Ensemble. Richly Expressive - The Cleveland Orchestra begins its annual South Florida residency, by Lawrence Budmen
Ensemble. Fresh and Gleaming - Sinfonia Viva's performance at the 2011 Association of British Orchestras conference impresses Mike Wheeler
Absolutely Outstanding - Kotaro Fukuma's performances of Schumann, Chopin and Liszt amaze Bill Newman
New Year Blues - A roundup of recent London concerts by Bill Newman
Ensemble. Sensitive and Vivid - Laura Isaacson and Patricia Capone, heard by Mary Isaac
Ensemble. Cultural Delights - Gerald Fenech visits Slovenia for Festival Maribor
Passport to Heaven - Bill Newman listens to the Russian pianist Nelly Akopian-Tamarina
Authority and Nobility - Elisabeth Leonskaja celebrates Robert Schumann, appreciated by Mary Isaac
Highly Impressive - A recital by Michael Ierace, enjoyed by Mike Wheeler
An Interdisciplinary Field - Two contemporary music festivals in Rome, described by Giuseppe Pennisi
Confidently Entertaining - A recital by John Paul Ekins delights Bill Newman
Command and Panache - Russian pianist Rustem Kudoyarov, heard by Mary Isaac
Ensemble. Vividly Projected - Richard Roddis and Beate Toyka perform Robert Schumann, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Better Late than Never - The BPSE Late Summer Festival, attended by Malcolm Troup
Ensemble. Highly Dramatic - The Wihan Quartet at Kings Place, heard by Bill Newman
Flying Colours - A piano recital by Theresia Renelt, appreciated by Mary Isaac
Ensemble. Pilgrimages of the Soul - Giuseppe Pennisi visits Italy's Sagra Musicale Umbra
Ensemble. Bravura Performance - A piano recital by Anthony Hughes, heard by Mary Isaac
Ensemble. An Ecstatic Success - Giuseppe Pennisi visits the Sagra Musicale Malatestiana
Ensemble. Orchestral Firepower - Lawrence Budmen sends his final report from the 2010 Tanglewood Festival
Ensemble. Airborne Fingers - A BPSE lunchtime recital by Harvey Dagul and Isobel Beyer, praised by Malcolm Troup
CD Spotlight. Striking Originality - Piano music by Moscheles, Mendelssohn and Schumann, heard by Robert Anderson. '...Todd Crow deserves unstinted gratitude.'
A Performance to Remember - A recital by Emanuel Rimoldi impresses Bill Newman
CD Spotlight. Finely Judged - Brahms and Schumann piano quartets, heard by Robert Anderson. 'This is music-making both sensitive and relaxed.'
Wondrously Expansive - Ronan Magill's recital at London's Wigmore Hall impresses Robert Anderson
CD Spotlight. A Shattered Mirror - Paganini caprices arranged for string quartet, heard by Howard Smith. '... technically cluttered.'
CD Spotlight. Thrilling Mastery - Tanja Becker-Bender plays Paganini, reviewed by Howard Smith. '... sparkling clarity and power ...'
Ensemble. Smiling Poise - Derby Chamber Music ends its season on a high, reported by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. A Wide-ranging Discourse - Sinfonia Viva plays Beethoven, Anna Meredith, Nico Muhly, Ravel and Schumann, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Wilfully Distorted - Petrenko conducts the RLPO, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Splendidly Imaginative - Julian Jacobson and Meng Yang Pan celebrate Valentine's Day and Chinese New Year, enjoyed by Mary Isaac
Ensemble. Crisp and Energetic - Ilya Gringolts, Sinfonia Viva and André de Ridder, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Lovely Accounts - Chamber music by Robert Schumann, heard by Howard Smith. '... the performances suffer from a worrying anemia ...'
World-ranking Pianism - Malcolm Troup marvels anew at the artistry of Julian Jacobson
Imaginative Heights - Gordon Rumson looks forward to the Calgary Art Song Competition
Refreshingly Imaginative - A recital by Helen Reid impresses Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Imagination and Strength - Celebrating the Mendelssohn anniversary at Mannes College, reported by Anna L Franco
CD Spotlight. Thoroughly Intelligent - Schumann and Beethoven songs, reviewed by Robert Anderson. '... he is undoubtedly more comfortable in his baritone register.'
Ensemble. Expertly Structured - Mike Wheeler was at a song recital by Richard Roddis and Philip Robinson
CD Spotlight. Utterly Absorbing - A sampler from Cedille Records, enjoyed by Howard Smith. '... top quality standards.'
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
Lively Characterisation - An organ recital by Ian Tracey, heard by Mike Wheeler
Marvelously Gifted - Bill Newman listens to pianist Alexander Romanovsky
Ensemble. A Sparkling Account - The Kanazawa-Admony Piano Duo pays tribute to Carola Grindea, reviewed by Malcolm Miller
Life and Other Distractions - Béla Hartmann writes about the relevance of biography to an appreciation of the arts
CD Spotlight. Consistently Refined - Debussy transcriptions, reviewed by Howard Smith. '... these alternatives are never less than striking ...'
Rare Talent - Young Concert Artists Trust recitals, reviewed by Bill Newman
Ensemble. A Brilliant Idea - A Bernard Stevens celebration at London's Wigmore Hall, reviewed by Bill Newman
CD Spotlight. Positively Inspirational - Jennifer Koh plays Schumann, enjoyed by Howard Smith. '... superbly accomplished performances ...'
CD Spotlight. Clara's Karma? - 150 years' postponement in publication of Clara Schumann's piano sonata, investigated by Jennifer Paull. '... Karen Kushner brings welcomed light ...'
Ensemble. Sparkling Performances - Yvonne Kenny and Iain Burnside at London's Wigmore Hall, reviewed by Robert Hugill
CD Spotlight. Liquid phrasing - Argerich plays Schumann, reviewed by John Bell Young. 'Ms Argerich and company pay glowing tribute to the composer's most celebrated chamber works.'