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. 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 ...'
New Releases — Keith Bramich describes some changes this magazine is making to its reviewing process, and provides a snapshot of information provided by record labels, promoters and individual artists over the last month
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. 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. 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. 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.'
Classical music news. New Conducting Competition — Only Stage Management Company in cooperation with Classics Management Budapest announces the first edition of the Only Stage International Conducting Competition
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. 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.'