CENTRAL ENGLAND: Mike Wheeler's concert reviews from Nottingham and Derbyshire feature high profile artists on the UK circuit - often quite early on their tours.
VIDEO PODCAST: Slava Ukraini! - recorded on 24 February 2022, the day Europe woke up to the news that Vladimir Putin's Russian forces had invaded Ukraine. A fifty minute video which also features Caitríona O'Leary and Eric Fraad discussing their new film Island of Saints, and pays tribute to Joseph Horovitz, Malcolm Troup and Maria Nockin.
CD Spotlight. The Piano Turned Inside-Out - John Dante Prevedini considers Carlos Cipa's new release a triumph. '... a remarkably fresh and distinctive pianistic listening experience ...'
Ensemble. Twentieth Century Colours - Giuseppe Pennisi is impressed by a concert given by the orchestra of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
Classical music news - Juliane Banse - The German soprano will be the new head professor of voice at Madrid's Reina Sofía School of Music for 2023-24
CD Spotlight. Bruckner the Trumpet - Gerald Fenech listens to Bruckner's Symphony No 3, transposed for organ. '... Hansjörg Albrecht's renditions of these spectacular transcriptions by Erwin Horn are absolutely flawless.'
Listening to Tchaikovsky - Béla Hartmann asks some searching questions about the pressure being placed on Russian artists following Putin's invasion of Ukraine
CD Spotlight. An Exciting Discovery - Gerald Fenech listens to clarinet concertos by German composer Franz Anton Dimler. '... performances are nothing short of phenomenal on every level.'
CD Spotlight. Teenage Years - Mendelssohn's String Symphonies, recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Performances are energetic and inspiring throughout, with a touch of crispness consistently at the centre of things.'
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 ...'
Classical music news. Rattle to Munich - Simon Rattle is appointed Chief Conductor of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and extends with the London Symphony Orchestra
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. 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. 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. Fierce Criticism - Gerald Fenech listens to orchestral music by Rodion Shchedrin and Ottorino Respighi. '... a fitting tribute to Mariss Jansons ...'
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. 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. 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. 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. 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.'
Classical music news. Obituary - Mariss Jansons (1943-2019)
Ensemble. Contemporary Premieres - Giuseppe Pennisi experiences three new operas in Rome
Ensemble. Affectionate Complicity and Tensions - Giuseppe Pennisi reviews Mozart's 'Idomeneo' in Rome
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.'
Ensemble. Magnificent Symphonies - Beethoven, Shostakovich and Musorgsky from Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra impress Patrick Maxwell
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.'
Classical music news. Obituary - Heinz Winbeck (1946-2019)
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. Subtlety in Detail - Leslie Tung plays Mozart, Beethoven and Haydn, impressing Anett Fodor. '... a rare and unusual musical find.'
CD Spotlight. Grace and Beauty - Music by Bartók for Piano and Orchestra, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'I would recommend this disc for a great recording of the Piano Concerto No 3 ...'
Ensemble. Famous yet Unkown - Giuseppe Pennisi experiences Camille Saint-Saëns' opera 'Proserpine' in Munich
CD Spotlight. Very Satisfying - Sibelius from Munich, heard by Geoff Pearce. '... the orchestra responds superbly to Jansons.'
CD Spotlight. Wondrous Sensitivity - Music by Gordon Getty, heard by Roderic Dunnett. '... Getty is given the best possible advocacy on this well-recorded Pentatone disc.'
DVD Spotlight. Mantle of Wagner - 'Feuersnot' by Richard Strauss, impresses Geoff Pearce. '... the orchestra was sumptuous.'
CD Spotlight. White Mass - Andrei Korobeinikov plays Scriabin, heard by Howard Smith. '... vividly performed ...'
CD Spotlight. Musical Assets - Orchestral music by Richard Strauss, heard by Stephen Francis Vasta. '... sensitivity and tenderness ...'
DVD Spotlight. Disturbing Nightmares - Musorgsky's Boris Godunov, reviewed by Robert Anderson. 'I was surprised how quickly my patience ran out.'
Ensemble. A Composer of Note - Graham Waterhouse receives standing ovations at Munich's Gasteig, by Tess Crebbin
Ensemble. A Sexy Summer Night - 'Feuersnot' by Richard Strauss, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Innovative Dramaturgy - Giuseppe Pennisi visits the annual Munich Opera Festival
Ensemble. Dark Lyricism - Mark-Anthony Turnage's 'Greek' at the Buxton Festival, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Wagner in the Alps - Giuseppe Pennisi reports from the 2011 Tiroler Festspiele
Ensemble. A Complete Delight - Wagner's 'Die Walküre' at New York Metropolitan Opera, enjoyed in HD from Arizona by Maria Nockin
Sex and Absolute Power - Handel's 'Giulio Cesare in Egitto', reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. A Memorable Night - The Israel Camerata Orchestra Jerusalem, heard by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Superb from the word 'go' - Donizetti's last Tudor Queen returns to Rome, and Carmela Remigio enchants Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Convincing and Engrossing - Robert Hugill visits the Gut Immling Festival for a performance of Wagner's 'The Flying Dutchman'
Ensemble. Contemporary Resonance - Grange Park Opera's 'Capriccio', enjoyed by Robert Hugill
Ensemble. Under the Tuscan Sun - Giuseppe Pennisi attends the beginning of the Tiroler Festspiele 2010
Ensemble. Seething with Evil - Franz Schreker's 'Die Gezeichneten', reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Shining Beauty - The current Italian season of Mozart's 'Idomeneo', reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Sheer Tension - The first performance of the unabridged 'Elektra' enthralls the audience, related by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. A Sparkling Concert - Sabbath music from the Zemel Choir, enjoyed by Malcolm Miller
Ensemble. Recovered Voices - Two operas in Los Angeles over the Easter weekend, enjoyed by Maria Nockin
An Unexpected Treasure - Jeanette Hanscome talks to author Helen Martens about her new book 'Felix Mendelssohn: Out of the Depths of His Heart'
Ensemble. New and Different - 'Rheingold' from Los Angeles, recommended by Maria Nockin
Ensemble. A Delicate Balance - Cavalli's 'La Calisto', reviewed by Robert Hugill
A Very Expressive Voice - Tess Crebbin talks to the tenor Zoran Todorovich
Hope Breaking Through - Alban Gerhardt plays Bach at Munich's 'Long Night of Music', and has a late night chat with Tess Crebbin
A Name to Remember! - Mikhail Shilyaev at St Martin-in-the-Fields, reviewed by Malcolm Troup
Profile. The Hungarian Nightingale - A meeting with Gisela Doráti, better known as 'Gizi', by Bill Newman
Baton Magician? - David Stahl in conversation with Tess Crebbin about Bernstein, Mahler and German-language opera
Ensemble. An acquired taste - Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau in Munich, by Tess Crebbin and Sissy von Kotzebue
Ensemble. pppp or ppppp? - Valentyn Silvestrov at the Pinothek der Moderne, Munich, reviewed by Sissy von Kotzebue
Ensemble. Standing ovations - Rolando Villazón performs in Munich, appreciated by Tess Crebbin
Alban Berg's 'younger brother' - Henri Dutilleux receives the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize, by Tess Crebbin
Irreplaceable to music - Tess Crebbin describes the memorial service in Munich for conductor Marcello Viotti
Ensemble. Mozart and lederhosen - A Bavarian Magic Flute, reviewed by Tess Crebbin
Triumph and smiles - Tess Crebbin was at the Echo Classics Awards in Munich
Ensemble. The big birdcage - Of pigeons and other strange birds at the 2004 Munich Opera Festival, by Sissy von Kotzebue
Ensemble. An evening full of Hampsongs - by Sissy von Kotzebue
Triumphs and failures - The first week of the Munich Opera Festival 2004, reviewed by Tess Crebbin and Sissy Kotzebue
Profile. A broad career - In the first of a two-part series spotlighting countertenors, Tess Crebbin talks to Flavio Oliver
Profile. Ben Heppner - A candid conversation with the Canadian tenor, by Tess Crebbin and Sissy von Kotzebue
Shopping for opera ... - Tess Crebbin investigates the largest classical CD store in continental Europe
Treading new ground - Renowned American baritone Thomas Hampson shows a new side in Munich. Tess Crebbin investigates
East and West - Malcolm Miller applauds Natasa Sarcevic's performance of music by Paul Ben-Haim
Ensemble. Devotion and heroism - Ted and Emi Norrish enjoy a musical weekend in Munich
Hans Hotter in Munich - an occasional addendum to last year's 'Captivating moments', with Juliet Averay
A Prague wedding - An occasional addendum to last year's 'Captivating Moments', with Juliet Averay
Christmas story - Juliet Averay visits Munich's Market of the Christ Child