Classical Music Daily — all articles published in 2020


120 Years Ago — A snapshot of the musical world at the turn of the twentieth century, by George Colerick

Classical music news. January 2020 Newsletter — 'Pinchgut Opera's "Farnace"', Classical Music Daily's January 2020 Newsletter, has just been published

CD Spotlight. The Harpsichord's Newest Reincarnation — Ona Jarmalavičiūtė listens to twentieth century harpsichord concertos. 'Not many harpsichord players are as multifaceted and expressive as Jory Vinikour when interpreting modern music.'

Ensemble. Intimate Suffering — Tchaikovsky's 'Swan Lake' at Teatro dell'Opera di Roma, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi

CD Spotlight. A Distinctive Scottish Flavour — Geoff Pearce listens to chamber music and songs by Judith Weir. '... a fantastic disc ...'

CD Spotlight. Absolutely Riveting — Kent Nagano's recording of the 1869 version of Mussorgsky's 'Boris Godunov', reviewed by Gerald Fenech. 'Nagano's formidable insight is able to take the listener on a musical journey into the dark depths of the human soul. Painful, yes, but unmissable.'

CD Spotlight. Jewel in the Scottish Musical Crown — Ona Jarmalavičiūtė is impressed by Mr McFall's Chamber. '... a vivid kaleidoscope of impromptu freely expressed creativity.'

CD Spotlight. Interesting and Entertaining — Geoff Pearce listens to music by Paul Reale. '... a fantastic disc ...'

CD Spotlight. Why Mahler? — Roger Norrington's interpretation of Mahler's Fourth Symphony, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Roger Norrington presents the music very much as Mahler would have approved, and dynamics are never exaggerated. The orchestra is never allowed to be short on emotion and overall this performance is deeply moving. Anu Komsi is also perfectly cast as the child-like soprano in the last movement.'

CD Spotlight. Contrast and Energy — Modern wind chamber music, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'This is an enjoyable disc with quite a diversity of styles, performed by musicians of high calibre. I think most people who listen to these works will enjoy them.'

Classical music news. Music and Spirit: An Unconference — The deadline for applications has been extended for this event in Lexington, MA, USA

Ensemble. From Chaos to Ecstasy — Haydn's 'The Creation' in Rome, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi

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.'

Ensemble. Variegated Colours — Alexander Binns plays Messiaen, heard by Mike Wheeler

Classical music news. Obituary — Jaap Schröder (1925-2020)

CD Spotlight. Fresh and Engaging — Villa-Lobos, Bax and Bolcom from Kerry Duwors and Futaba Niekawa, recommended by Geoff Pearce. '... the sheer musicianship, combined with flawless technique and imaginative programming, never fails to impress me.'

Ensemble. Youthful Rebellion — Mike Wheeler is impressed by the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain

CD Spotlight. High Praise — Gerald Fenech listens to film music by Gerard Schurmann. 'Notes and sound are superb. A must for film addicts.'

Classical music news. Obituary — Barry Tuckwell (1931-2020)

CD Spotlight. Exquisite Pacing — Gerald Fenech listens to Mendelssohn's String Symphonies. 'Michi Gaigg and his Baroque Orchestra deliver performances full of charm and beauty ...'

George Flynn on CD: An Overview — Esdras Mugatik explores the work of this American composer

Ensemble. Gruesome and Engrossing — Giuseppe Pennisi experiences Franco Alfano's rarely performed opera 'Risurrezione' in Florence

CD Spotlight. Style and Panache — Gerald Fenech listens to flute music by Mieczysław Weinberg. 'A compelling disc which should keep the renewed interest in Weinberg's musical legacy on the upward curve.'

Ensemble. A Remarkable Partnership — Mike Wheeler listens to music for violin and piano by Mozart, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Wieniawski/Gounod and Debussy/Heifetz from Emmanuel Bach and Jennifer Hughes

Ensemble. Bel Canto Marvels — Giuseppe Pennisi experiences Bellini's rare opera 'I Capuleti e i Montecchi'

CD Spotlight. Unusual and Colourful — Contemporary orchestral works and concertos by James Lentini, Rain Worthington, Jan Järvlepp, Peter Castine and Beth Mehocic, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'The performances are committed and enjoyable.'

Ensemble. Vaughan Williams and Jazz? — Mike Wheeler listens to a talk from Stephen Johnson, and to two works by Vaughan Williams played by John Wilson and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra

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 ...'

Ensemble. Wagner's Revenge — Giuseppe Pennisi is puzzled by a political and contemporary reading of 'Parsifal'

Portraits. Jakub Józef Orliński — Anett Fodor writes about the Polish counter tenor and his latest album

Ensemble. Youthful Maturity — Mike Wheeler listens to Schubert and Rachmaninov from Lauren Zhang

Classical music news - January Obituaries — Our summary of those the classical music world lost last month

Classical music news. Obituary — Peter Serkin (1947-2020)

Ensemble. Opium and Eros — Richard Wagner's 'Tristan und Isolde' in Bologna pleases Giuseppe Pennisi

CD Spotlight. An Auspicious Start — Gerald Fenech listens to the first disc in the new Naxos cycle of Widor organ symphonies. '... a fascinating series of contrasts within a framework of spectacular effects.'

CD Spotlight. Exquisite Precision — Early Beethoven from Boris Giltburg, Vasily Petrenko and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, heard by Patrick Maxwell. '... the orchestra and the piano are often interwoven in their lines, and the conversational phrases built up a tension that is perfectly managed by Giltburg.'

CD Spotlight. A Gorgeous Tribute — Piano music by Ireland and Tchaikovsky impresses Gerald Fenech. '... a fascinating series of contrasts within a framework of spectacular effects.'

Ensemble. Darmstadt is Dead — A performance of 'Hyperion' in Rome celebrates Bruno Maderna's centenary, and Giuseppe Pennisi is in the audience

Classical music news. Obituary — Nello Santi (1931-2020)

Classical music news. Stjepan Hauser — The Croatian cellist performs with orchestra at Egypt's Soma Bay in April 2020

Classical music news. Obituary. Mirella Freni (1935-2020) — The Italian soprano died on 9 February 2020

CD Spotlight. Dazzling Virtuosity — Mendelssohn concertos from the Stankov Ensemble and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, highly recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Exceptionally beautiful music, sparklingly performed, sumptuously recorded, with a very insightful essay thrown in for good measure.'

Ensemble. In the French Tradition — Mike Wheeler listens to Fauré, Lili Boulanger, Abdelmoula and Debussy from Swiss pianist Jean-Sélim Abdelmoula

Ensemble. Beethoven String Quartets — Giuseppe Pennisi attends two concerts marking this year's Beethoven anniversary

CD Spotlight. Interesting and Varied — New music from Apollo Chamber Players, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'The performances are committed and enjoyable.'

Classical music news. Darya Dadvar — The Iranian opera singer is to appear in Los Angeles on 8 March 2020

Classical music news. Frutillar Music Weeks — The Municipal Symphonic Orchestra of Copiapó gives a spectacular concert at Chile's most important classical music event

Ensemble. Gesualdo and Friends — Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Les Arts Florissants

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

Ensemble. Romantic Ideals — Patrick Maxwell visits Vienna for Puccini's 'Tosca'

Portraits. Jenő Huszka — In defence of operetta and copyright, by Anett Fodor

Ensemble. Relaxed and Exuberant — Mike Wheeler listens to Cavendish Winds playing Mozart, Danzi, Debussy, Arnold, Vaughan Williams, Holst, Bozza, Ligeti and Gershwin

Ensemble. Traditional and Modern — Tchaikovsky's 'Eugene Onegin' returns to Rome, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi

Classical music news. Obituary — Reinbert de Leeuw (1938-2020)

Classical music news. The Elgar Festival — An annual celebration of the great British composer takes place in Worcester and Malvern, UK, during May

Photographer's Insight — Michael Whitefoot, Photographer at the Three Choirs Festival, explains some of the tricks and pitfalls of covering a major UK festival

Ensemble. Exquisitely Beautiful — Music for percussion by Chou Wen-chung, Chinary Ung, Lei Liang, Michael Pisaro and Edgard Varèse, heard by Ron Bierman

Ensemble. Compositional Fury — More Beethoven string quartets in Rome, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi

CD Spotlight. A Delight — Song cycles by Mahler, Berg and Rhian Samuel, sung by Ruby Hughes with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, impress Geoff Pearce. 'Right from the start, she shows a more flexible and somewhat lighter voice, but a very good understanding of the lyrics, and she colours her voice beautifully to express this.'

Classical music news. Guido Cantelli — The Italian conductor's international conducting competition comes back to life

Classical music news - February 2020 Obituaries — Our summary of those the classical music world lost last month

CD Spotlight. Masterly Setting — Gerald Fenech listens to choral music by Kenneth Leighton. 'Performances are of a consistently high level throughout and blessed with a beautifully recorded sound.'

Ensemble. The Finest Musical Superglue — Mike Wheeler witnesses 'Energy', Sinfonia Viva's latest schools project

Ensemble. Beethoven Summitry — Paul Lewis' high altitude performance dazzles his Chicago audience, reported by Barbara Sealock

CD Spotlight. Masterly Setting — Paul Sarcich listens to traditional Croatian song plus jazz-rock inflected arrangements. 'The recording of the women is very clear and detailed, the big band has some balance problems ...'

CD Spotlight. Strengths and Weaknesses — Gerald Fenech listens to orchestral music by Max von Schillings. 'A very fine addition to CPO's ongoing advocacy of Schillings' oeuvre in detailed notes and exemplary sonics.'

CD Spotlight. A Precious Recording — Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Offenbach's 'Maître Péronilla'. '... this is a book and two CDs to enjoy and to make an elegant gift.'

CD Spotlight. Touching the Heart — Choral music by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'David Shuler and his choristers deliver interpretations of sheer beauty brimming with natural and musical phrasing, spot-on-intonation and a glorious tonal blend ...'

Ensemble. Sheer Contrast — Prokofiev and Beethoven symphonies from the Hallé Orchestra and Mark Elder, impressing Mike Wheeler

CD Spotlight. Truly Admirable — Gerald Fenech listens to works by French composer Louise Farrenc. 'An exhilarating addition to the composer's discography, passionately performed and recorded.'

Classical music news - UK Vacancies — Opportunities in London, Essex, Sussex and Devon

CD Spotlight. Of Considerable Interest — Music by Gian Francesco Malipiero, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'This excellent Naxos disc is well worth exploring, and performances from all concerned are very fine indeed.'

CD Spotlight. Committed and Highly Energetic — Gerald Fenech listens to Mahler 6 from the Essener Philharmoniker. 'Netopil has stiff competition but this meticulously detailed, immaculately paced, vibrantly played version can stand with heads held high among the most recent issues of this work.'

CD Spotlight. A Good Anthology — The story of Dido, Queen of Carthage, as seen by eight Baroque composers, heard by Giuseppe Pennisi. '... this is a book and two CDs to enjoy and to make an elegant gift.'

CD Spotlight. Nothing Short of Heroic — Idil Biret plays César Franck, impressing Gerald Fenech. 'My impression is that Biret does not only interpret these works but she reincarnates them.'

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. Serious and Entertaining — Ona Jarmalavičiūtė listens to choral music by William Mathias. '... each moment ... truly captivates and draws further.'

Life Under Quarantine — Suggestions for the classical musician, from Gordon Andrew R

CD Spotlight. Great Advocacy — Gerald Fenech listens to orchestral music by Nikos Skalkottas. 'Stefanos Tsialis draws impassioned playing from his Athens ensemble, and the openheartedness and technical finesse with which these works are despatched is beyond admiration.'

Classical music news. Obituary — Charles Wuorinen (1938-2020)

Ensemble. Familiar Pieces Heard Afresh — Mike Wheeler has some thoughtful comments on a performance by Tasmin Little, Duncan Riddell, Thierry Fischer and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

CD Spotlight. Immediately Engaging — Raphael Wallfisch plays cello concertos by Mieczysław Weinberg, recommended unreservedly by Geoff Pearce. 'This magnificent disc showcases the work of a composer who is still relatively under-represented in recording catalogues and on the concert platform.'

CD Spotlight. Opposite Religious Poles — Secret Catholic music by William Byrd impresses Gerald Fenech. 'Absolute joy from beginning to end.'

Ensemble. A More Intimate Approach — Mike Wheeler listens to Suppé, Dvořák and Holst at Derby Concert Orchestra's seventieth anniversary concert

Classical music news. Obituary — Gerard Schurmann (1924-2020)

CD Spotlight. The Charm of 'La Nuova Commedia Dell'arte' — Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Busoni's 'Turandot' and 'Arlecchino'. '... this is a book and two CDs to enjoy and to make an elegant gift.'

CD Spotlight. Effervescent Beauty — Music by Pärt, Vasks and MacMillan, sung by the Choir of Clare College, Cambridge, impressing Patrick Maxwell. 'This recording from the Choir of Clare College Cambridge under the direction of Graham Ross cements their position as one of the finest church ensembles in the country ...'

Somewhat Delayed Reviews — Callisto, Christopher Montgomery's opera-oratorio based on Ovid's Metamorphoses, by Endre Anaru

CD Spotlight. South American Melodic Turns — Music by José Serebrier, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... I was very much taken by the imagination, colour, rhythm and neo-classical expressiveness of the music, particularly in the "tango" pieces ...'

Classical music news. Obituary — Krzysztof Penderecki (1933-2020)

Salzburg and the Pandemic — Giuseppe Pennisi wonders whether the 2020 Salzburg Summer Festival will take place

Classical music news - March 2020 Obituaries — Our summary of those the classical music world lost last month

CD Spotlight. Translucent Performances — Gerald Fenech listens to music written for Louis XIII. '... a rich array of delicately chiselled miniatures full of fragile beauty and sweet-sounding textures.'

Exceptional Provenance — Anett Fodor tells the story of Beethoven, Liszt and the Little Broadwood

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.'

A Double Career — Giuseppe Pennisi describes his life as an economist in the world of music

Classical music news - Klein String Competition — One of America's top string competitions goes digital

CD Spotlight. Startlingly Original — Michael Gielen conducts Beethoven's 'Missa Solemnis', heard by Gerald Fenech. 'The orchestra is magnificent and the choir rises to the occasion with some impassioned singing. Top of the list are the four soloists, whose renditions are nothing short of impressive and iridescent.'

CD Spotlight. Fierce Urgency — Bach Collegium Japan's St Matthew Passion, reviewed by Patrick Maxwell. 'Suzuki's forces create this inner energy in a way that surges, through the music, into the crucifixion, creating the mix of oratorio and opera that Bach must have been envisaging when the work was first performed across the church of St Thomas' in Leipzig in 1827.'

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. Uniformly Excellent — A complete recording of Beethoven's 'The Ruins of Athens', highly recommended by Julian Jacobson. 'The maverick Finnish conductor and composer Leif Segerstam ... and his varied forces give a splendidly committed and characterful account of the complete entertainment.'

CD Spotlight. Highly Effective — Gerald Fenech listens to miniatures by William Mathias. '... splendid and sweetly unaffected performances ...'

CD Spotlight. An Absolute Soprano — Giuseppe Pennisi listens to a recording by Marina Rebeka. '... perfect emission ... consummate technical skills ...'

Classical music news - Bocelli: Music for Hope — Andrea Bocelli and Emanuele Vianelli performed live from the Duomo in Milan on Easter Sunday

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. Undoubtedly Colourful — Music by Poulenc and Koechlin, heard by Paul Sarcich. 'Odradek and the Bambergers have produced clean, well-balanced recordings and treated both composers with great sensitivity. The orchestral playing is first rate.'

Ensemble. Terrific Energy — Mike Wheeler reviews a recording of Opera North's recent production of Kurt Weill's 'Street Scene'

CD Spotlight. A Splendid Performance — Rachel Mahon plays Canadian organ music, recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'A hugely enjoyable album, well worth hearing ...'

Beethoven 250 — In this year of celebration, Giuseppe Pennisi muses on Ludwig van Beethoven's modernity

CD Spotlight. Thoroughly Enjoyable — Dohnányi's 'The Veil of Pierrette', recommended by Geoff Pearce. 'The rapid changes of mood and atmosphere are well done, and the playing of all concerned is exemplary.'

CD Spotlight. Psychological Acuity — Music for harp by Boris Tishchenko impresses Gerald Fenech. '... challenging but highly rewarding music, passionately performed and sumptuously recorded.'

CD Spotlight. Unpredictable and Beautiful — Gerald Fenech admires volume 4 of Malcolm Martineau's 'Decades - A Century of Song'. 'The programme is mellifluously performed and all the songs give immense pleasure. Martineau's singers have fresh, youthful voices and they are consistently caring for each word in the texts, while his own playing is sensitive and coloured throughout.'

Music and the Pandemic — Giuseppe Pennisi puts the case for Italy

CD Spotlight. Worth Investigating — Music for cello by J S Bach and Mike Block, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... my feeling was one of spontaneous joy and serenity.'

CD Spotlight. The Host and the Guest — Ona Jarmalavičiūtė listens to a celebration of Eastern and Western musical cultures. '... truly striking performances.'

CD Spotlight. Youthfulness and Energy — Giuseppe Pennisi listens to chamber music by Paul Hindemith. '... an explosion of happiness and a real whirlwind from the very fast introduction to the vibrant finale ...'

CD Spotlight. Interesting Stuff — Beethoven's 'King Stephen' and other rare works, appreciated by Gerald Fenech. 'Finely performed and recorded, this CD is a must for all serious collectors and admirers of the great man.'

Classical music news - Five Thoughts on Everything — Bright Shiny Things releases a recording of music by Dutch composer Jobina Tinnemans

CD Spotlight. Unique and Most Compelling — Concertos by Danish composer Bent Sørensen, heard by Eugene Takeuchi-Williams. '... in these three pieces, Sørensen is the consistent champion of the understatement.'

CD Spotlight. Prevailing Classicism — Music by Prokofiev for the cello, reviewed by Gerald Fenech. 'Conductor, soloists and orchestra get under Prokofiev's skin with renditions full of fire and energy, spiced with a Slavonic spirit that complements the texture of the music - mesmerising virtuosity matched only by the genius of the composer.'

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.'

Classical music news - April 2020 Obituaries — Our summary of those the classical music world lost last month

CD Spotlight. Inestimable Value — Gerald Fenech listens to 'Hypermnestre' by French baroque composer Charles-Hubert Gervais. 'Vashegyi marshalls his moderate forces with a caring deftness that betrays his sense of purpose and engagement with Gervais' score. Indeed, this is a deeply intelligent and attractive performance that should arouse the fresh sense of investigation which it so richly deserves.'

Opening Up After Quarantine — Suggestions for musicians, by Gordon Andrew R

CD Spotlight. Tonal Brilliance — Brahms clarinet chamber music, heard by Patrick Maxwell. '... Brahms' incredible score is done full justice in this recording, which shows the best of the composer's last years and the glories of Romantic chamber music.'

CD Spotlight. A Celebratory Mood — Gerald Fenech is impressed with a new recording of Beethoven's Mass in C. 'Leif Segerstam leads a first-class group of soloists and brings out all the humanity and tenderness of the music with aplomb.'

Classical music news - May 2020 Obituaries — Our summary of those the classical music world has lost this month

CD Spotlight. Full of Colours and Flavour — Giuseppe Pennisi listens to music from Sharon Isbin and the Pacifica Quartet. '... an original program and excellent rendering make very pleasant listening.'

CD Spotlight. An Unmissable Issue — Gerald Fenech explores the music of Marc'Antonio Ingegneri. 'The repetition of phrases in the musical exchange between the two choirs becomes almost hypnotic for the listener, and one feels totally engrossed in the Eucharistic mystery.'

Ensemble. Fresh and Energetic Performances — Malcolm Miller listens to Beethoven from Marios Papadopoulos and the Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra

Locrian — A classical music word-puzzle, to keep you entertained during lockdown, by Allan Rae

CD Spotlight. Undoubted Historical Importance — Paul Sarcich listens to music by Nikos Skalkottas. '... Skalkottas is no slave of Schoenberg - he has his own take on Schoenberg's methods and one could not confuse the two.'

CD Spotlight. A Musical Goldmine — Gerald Fenech enjoys music by Giovanni Battista Vitali. '... gorgeously crafted music full of melodic sweetness and intensely passionate emotions.'

CD Spotlight. A Korngold Renaissance — Giuseppe Pennisi reviews a four CD set of music by the Austrian-born composer. 'The wholeness of this anthology is admirable.'

CD Spotlight. Love's Trials and Rewards — Gustav Holst's 'The Cloud Messenger', recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'This colourful chamber version by Joseph Fort lends the more tender passages a new intimacy and clarity, while retaining much of the force of the original and preparing the foundations for a new life in performance.'

Classical music news - If The Night Grows Dark — Bright Shiny Things releases soprano Camille Zamora's survey of four centuries of Spanish song

CD Spotlight. Meaning and Identity — Gerald Fenech listens to Leonard Bernstein's first two symphonies. 'A wholly impressive issue, brilliantly performed and recorded ...'

With Great Caution — Giuseppe Pennisi reports on the gradual reopening of Italian Summer Festivals

The Art of Thinking — Gordon Andrew R brings to a close his two month long 'Life under Quarantine' series

CD Spotlight. Youthful Influences — Early string quartets by William Alwyn, heard by Patrick Maxwell. '... carried off with impressive dexterity by the players ...'

Classical music news. Obituary — John Poole (1934-2020)

Summer Festivals in Europe — Giuseppe Pennisi investigates the fast-evolving festival scene

CD Spotlight. Great Character — Lucas Ball listens to Riccardo Minasi's interpretations of late Mozart symphonies. 'Minasi's control is great here.'

CD Spotlight. Magical Repertoire — Rimsky-Korsakov's 'Kashchei the Immortal', enjoyed by Gerald Fenech. 'Do not be taken aback; the sound quality is miraculous and I enjoyed listening to this historic venture with immense pleasure.'

CD Spotlight. Imperial Music — Giuseppe Pennisi enjoys a recital by Karina Gauvin. 'Here the listener can appreciate Karina Gauvin's superb phrasing and elegant coloratura.'

CD Spotlight. Special in Many Ways — Gerald Fenech listens to Musorgsky and Ravel, conducted by François-Xavier Roth. 'Truly hair-raising stuff, wonderfully annotated and recorded.'

CD Spotlight. Very Satisfying — Music for strings by American composer Paul Reale, enjoyed by Geoff Pearce. 'Paul Reale shows himself as a fine composer for string ensemble ...'

Profile. Connecting the Natural and Human Worlds — Ona Jarmalavičiūtė talks to the Welsh composer Hilary Tann

CD Spotlight. Supremely Pianistic — Gerald Fenech finds pure joy in Etsuko Hirose's recent Moszkowski piano works disc. 'Truly hair-raising stuff, wonderfully annotated and recorded.'

Classical music news - Alienati — Coccia Theatre, Novara, Italy presents the first Smart Working Opera

CD Spotlight. Distinctly Continental — Patrick Maxwell listens to Brahms from Lars Vogt and the Royal Northern Sinfonia. '... carried off with impressive dexterity by the players ...'

Classical music news. Obituary — Mady Mesplé (1931-2020)

Classical music news. June 2020 Newsletter — 'The Art of Thinking', Classical Music Daily's June 2020 Newsletter, has just been published, along with an assortment of short news items

CD Spotlight. Incandescent — Gerald Fenech listens to the second Naxos disc of Charles-Marie Widor's organ symphonies. 'Wolfgang Rübsam provides irrepressible playing in these two early but much enterprising works.'

Classical music news. Obituary — Myroslav Skoryk (1938-2020)

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.'

Classical music news. Manhattan Music Competition — Applications for the fifth Manhattan International Music Competition should be made by 30 June 2020

Classical music news. Obituary — Marcello Abbado (1926-2020)

CD Spotlight. Audacious Symphonic Language — Prokofiev's Symphonies Nos 3 and 6 played by the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Pietari Inkinen and his German ensemble are on top form and both symphonies receive compelling interpretations full of cohesive and dynamic playing.'

CD Spotlight. Very Palatable — Geoff Pearce listens to orchestral music by Albéric Magnard. 'The quality of the performances by Philharmonisches Orchester Freiburg and conductor Fabrice Bollon is exemplary and complimentary to the work of this minor master.'

CD Spotlight. Soft-painted Colours — Gerald Fenech listens to music by Norwegian composer David Monrad Johansen. 'This is brilliantly performed Nordic music with warmth written all over it.'

Classical music news - June 2020 Obituaries — Our summary of those the classical music world has lost this month

CD Spotlight. Engrossing Memories — Giuseppe Pennisi listens to music by Gershwin, Copland and Bernstein. 'The Wolf Trap Opera National Orchestral Institute Philharmonic, conducted by James Judd, offers very professional, but not startling, performances.'

Classical music news. The Prison — The first recording of Ethel Smyth's 1930 work 'The Prison' is to be released on Chandos Records

CD Spotlight. Enjoyable Stuff — Liszt, Schubert and Brahms piano works, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Christopher Park's near flawless interpretations have a broad structural vision, and his exquisite and intimate phrasing, while not over-romanticised, makes these works sound even more impressive. The Liszt/Schubert piece is particularly stirring, even more so through the sympathetic support of Eschenbach and his players.'

CD Spotlight. Lifting the Spirits — Reformation music, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Five hundred years of memorable music condensed into just seventy-one minutes and performed spectacularly by Jared Stellmacher and Mark Sudeith, sympathetically supported by the Chicago Gargoyle Brass and Organ Ensemble.'

Drastically Revised — Giuseppe Pennisi looks at the detail of the replanned 2020 Salzburg Festival

CD Spotlight. Full-blooded Italianate Roots — Stephen Francis Vasta listens to Donizetti's 'La favorite'. '... Fabio Luisi projects the score with refinement and character.'

CD Spotlight. Out of the Ordinary — Giuseppe Pennisi listens to a new recording of Verdi's 'Otello'. '... a new and beautiful reading ...'

CD Spotlight. Fierce Criticism — Gerald Fenech listens to orchestral music by Rodion Shchedrin and Ottorino Respighi. '... a fitting tribute to Mariss Jansons ...'

Classical music news. The Mother — In July 2020 Dacapo Records will release the first recording of Carl Nielsen's complete music for Helge Rode's play 'Moderen'

CD Spotlight. Baroque Minimalism and 21st Century Minds — Ona Jarmalavičiūtė listens to music for violin by Philip Glass. 'The magic of this iconic figure in American music is still aweing listeners.'

CD Spotlight. Extraordinarily Gifted — Hans Rosbaud conducts Beethoven, and Gerald Fenech is impressed. 'These exceptional recordings, taped between 1953 and 1962, reveal a conductor of exceptional insight and unbounded energy, and these interpretations can be safely considered as among the very best of their time.'

Classical music news - Gabrielle Després — Nineteen-year-old Canadian-born violinist Gabrielle Després wins the thirty-fifth Irving M Klein String Competition

Classical music news - Donatella Flick Conducting Competition — The deadline for the 2021 Donatella Flick Conducting Competition has been extended until 13 August 2020

Ensemble. Unlocking Creative Potential — Malcolm Miller listens to 'Lockdown Suite' by Malcolm Singer

After the Pandemic — Giuseppe Pennisi describes what looks like being a busy musical summer in Rome

Classical music news - Harold Rosenbaum — American conductor Harold Rosenbaum presents a free online group conducting lesson on 29 June 2020

Resolution — Another classical music word-puzzle to keep you entertained, by Allan Rae

Ensemble. A Miracle in Ravenna — Giuseppe Pennisi reports from a modified Ravenna Festival

CD Spotlight. Haydn at his Light-hearted Best — Haydn Cello Concertos, heartily recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... the brilliant and sparkling playing of Natalie Clein brings out all the beauty of this music.'

Profile. Beautiful Things — Ona Jarmalavičiūtė talks to Croatian-American musician and peace activist Nenad Bach, who finds the power of music undeniable, like the power of love

Classical music news. July 2020 Newsletter — 'A Miracle in Ravenna', Classical Music Daily's July 2020 Newsletter, has just been published, along with an assortment of short news items

Ensemble. An Opera Staging Inside-out — Mike Wheeler is impressed by Lynne Marsh's film 'Tragedy', which provides an altered experience of Opera North's production of Verdi's 'La traviata'

CD Spotlight. Full of Joy — Patrick Maxwell celebrates Peter Donohoe's Mozart Piano Sonatas. '... played with a precise and enjoyable dexterity and with admirable clarity; the collection as a whole deserves to be celebrated.'

Classical music news. Obituary — Ida Haendel (1928-2020)

Classical music news. Obituary — Nikolai Kapustin (1937-2020)

Classical music news. Obituary — Ennio Morricone (1928-2020)

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. Romantic Concertos — Geoff Pearce listens to Dohnányi's two piano concertos. 'Sofja Gülbadamova is a superb pianist who obviously identifies with this composer and has the crispness, accuracy and flair to bring off these two works.'

Ensemble. Siena Wins a Heroic Bet — Giuseppe Pennisi attends the opening performance of the completely re-designed Chigiana International Festival and Summer Academy

Classical music news - July 2020 Obituaries — Our summary of those the classical music world has lost this month

CD Spotlight. A Powder-keg of Uncontrolled Passions — Gerald Fenech is impressed with this new recording of Korngold's 'Violanta'. '... Pinchas Steinberg's insightful reading draws some hot-blooded singing and playing.'

CD Spotlight. A Nostalgic Novelty — Paul English's 'Girl in Green', reviewed by Ona Jarmalavičiūtė. '... feels personal and human, bringing charged emotion.'

Ensemble. 'New Music' in Rome — Giuseppe Pennisi reports from the last of the Accademia Filarmonica Romana's summer concerts

CD Spotlight. Cheerfulness, Humour and Passion — Pietari Inkinen conducts Dvořák's Symphony No 6, enjoyed by Gerald Fenech. 'This fine issue also includes three overtures ...'

CD Spotlight. Enticing Orchestration — Gerald Fenech listens to tone poems by César Franck performed by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and conductor Jean-Luc Tingaud. 'This fine issue also includes three overtures ...'

Ensemble. Each Performance is a Unique Event — Mike Wheeler watches the film 'Adrian Kelly and Jacopo Spirei - La donna del lago and the role of the stage director' from the Buxton Festival's online offering

CD Spotlight. A Wide Emotional Spectrum — Alexandra Matvievskaya plays Fauré piano music, appreciated by Patrick Maxwell. '... played with a precise and enjoyable dexterity and with admirable clarity; the collection as a whole deserves to be celebrated.'

Ensemble. Once Upon a Time in Mantua — Giuseppe Pennisi was at the re-opening of Teatro dell'Opera di Roma for Verdi's 'Rigoletto'

CD Spotlight. Unfamiliar yet Totally Rewarding — Gerald Fenech listens to symphonies by the twentieth century Norwegian composer Eivind Groven. 'The Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra delivers performances that are convincing throughout, and Peter Szilvay's ardent attention to detail brings out all the hidden twists of these remarkable but unjustly neglected scores.'

Ensemble. Bring Back the Blue and the Light — Maria Nockin was impressed by Jonas Kaufmann's recital with Helmut Deutsch in New York Metropolitan Opera's new 'Met Stars Live in Concert' series

Ensemble. Perspectives: Words and Music — Mike Wheeler watches Buxton Festival's film 'Kate Whitley and Laura Attridge in conversation with Michael Williams', discussing the creation of the opera/oratorio 'Our Future, In Your Hands'

CD Spotlight. Lively and Dynamic — Geoff Pearce listens to symphonies by Czech composer Franz Krommer. 'This interesting and enjoyable disc will delight most listeners rather than astound them.'

Ensemble. Especially Enjoyable Hard Work — Paul Kerryson and Wyn Davies explore the work of Stephen Sondheim and 'A Little Night Music', in conversation with Michael Williams, as part of the Buxton International Festival Digital 2020 Season, reviewed by Mike Wheeler

CD Spotlight. Gentle and Tender Stravinsky — Giuseppe Pennisi listens to violin and piano music by the Russian master. '... a new and beautiful reading ...'

Ensemble. Artificially Injected? — Mozart from Omer Meir Wellber and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra with 'a number of surprises' as part of the Buxton International Festival Digital 2020 Season, experienced by Mike Wheeler

CD Spotlight. Passionate Language — Violin Concertos by the late Myroslav Skoryk, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Andrej Bielow is an enthusiastic advocate of his compatriot's music, and his flowing virtuosity gives these works a glowing attire; also, concern to every phrase and nuance is consistently in focus. Sirenko and his Ukraine ensemble give unbridled support.'

Ensemble. Dancing Vivaldi during Social Distancing — Giuseppe Pennisi reports from Teatro dell'Opera di Roma's Circus Maximus

Classical music news. Obituary — Paul Reale (1943-2020)

CD Spotlight. A Fascinating Insight — Geoff Pearce enjoys piano music by the late Paul Reale, played by John Jensen. 'The composer regarded Jensen as his ideal interpreter ...'

Ensemble. Pappano's 'Ninth' — Giuseppe Pennisi reports on Beethoven from Rome's Parco della Musica

CD Spotlight. Impressive Dexterity — Gerald Fenech listens to orchestral music by American composers William Dawson and Ulysses Kay. 'Arthur Fagen draws some immaculate playing from his Viennese Orchestra ...'

Classical music news. August 2020 Newsletter — 'A Fresh Vision', Classical Music Daily's August 2020 Newsletter, has just been published, along with an assortment of short news items

CD Spotlight. Fascinatingly Exuberant and Bold — Gerald Fenech explores the music of American composer Aaron Jay Kernis. 'Giancarlo Guerrero and his Nashville Symphony are ardent advocates of the composer ...'

Ensemble. A Soothing Balm on our Troubled Time — Maria Nockin connects to Renée Fleming and Robert Ainsley's Metropolitan Opera recital from the Dumbarton Oaks Museum music salon in Washington DC

Ensemble. Where to now for the Arts in the UK? — Annie Lydford, Julian Glover and Emily Gottlieb in conversation with Michael Williams as part of the Buxton International Festival Digital 2020 Season, reported by Mike Wheeler

Ensemble. Respecting the Spirit of The Merry Widow — Giuseppe Pennisi relates how 'Die lustige Witwe' is enthralling Rome

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.'

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

Ensemble. Promised in Marriage — Giuseppe Pennisi reports from the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro

Classical music news. Obituary — Leon Fleisher (1928-2020)

Ensemble. Music through Breath — Adrian Kelly talks to Christian Curnyn about Handel's 'Acis and Galatea' as part of the Buxton International Festival Digital 2020 Season, heard by Mike Wheeler

Ensemble. Rossini's Last Sin — Giuseppe Pennisi attends a very special performance at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro

Classical music news. Diabelli Variations — American pianist David Korevaar completes his Beethoven project and will appear in a virtual recital at Snake River Music Festival with violinist Charles Wetherbee

A Quiet Logic — Chang Sun writes about the American pianist Kit Armstrong

Ensemble. The Belcanto Concerts — Giuseppe Pennisi sends his last report from this year's Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro

Classical music news. Obituary — Julian Bream (1933-2020)

Classical music news - August 2020 Obituaries — Our summary of those the classical music world has lost this month

Ensemble. The Weather and The Light — Maria Nockin reports on Aleksandra Kurzak and Roberto Alagna's recital for 'Met Stars Live in Concert'

CD Spotlight. Well Worth Supporting — Geoff Pearce listens to the third symphony by Italian-born American composer John A Carollo. '... a distinct, assured musical voice which is not quite like anyone else I have heard.'

CD Spotlight. Ostentatiously Evocative — Vadim Gluzman plays music by Pēteris Vasks, heard by Patrick Maxwell. 'The music on this impressive recording deserves much larger recognition ...'

Classical music news - Leonard Bernstein at 102 — The Knights Orchestra celebrate with a streamed production of Bernstein's opera 'Candide'

CD Spotlight. An Unusual Debut — Giuseppe Pennisi listens to music by Ravel, James Francis Brown and Liana Alexandra, performed by Andrea Oliva and the Hemisphaeria Trio. '... an innovative program by a very promising ensemble.'

CD Spotlight. A Sort of a Mystery — Carl Nielsen's incidental music for the play 'The Mother', recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... an interpretation of the utmost precision, with tempi and dynamics handled with vibrant, life-affirming gusto.'

CD Spotlight. Primitive Brazilianness — Music for piano and orchestra by José Antônio de Almeida Prado, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Beautifully recorded and annotated.'

Ensemble. Ariadne, Phaedra and Dido — Giuseppe Pennisi visits Spoleto to experience the first performance of a new work by Silvia Colasanti

CD Spotlight. Approachable Music — The complete violin and piano music of Lutosławski and Penderecki, strongly recommended by Geoff Pearce. 'The performances by violinist Michael Foyle and pianist Maksim Štšura are responsive, intelligent and very polished and I, for one, found this disc a delight.'

CD Spotlight. Night and Day — Osmo Vänskä's recording of Mahler's Symphony No 7, recommended by Patrick Maxwell. 'The music on this impressive recording deserves much larger recognition ...'

CD Spotlight. A British Tint — Giuseppe Pennisi listens to two recent orchestral works by British composer Philip Sawyers. 'The BBC National Orchestra of Wales, conducted by Kenneth Woods, gives masterly performances of the two pieces.'

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 ...'

CD Spotlight. Hidden Secrets — Gerald Fenech listens to twentieth century British piano music played by Nathan Williamson. '... brought to light with the utmost conviction.'

CD Spotlight. Highly Enjoyable — Gerald Fenech listens to film music played by Iain Sutherland and the Philharmonic Promenade Orchestra. '... brought to light with the utmost conviction.'

Classical music news. September 2020 Newsletter — 'A Quiet Logic', Classical Music Daily's September 2020 Newsletter, has just been published, along with an assortment of short news items

Ensemble. Seemingly Effortless — Lise Davidsen and James Baillieu's Met Stars Live recital from Oslo, reviewed by Maria Nockin

CD Spotlight. Quite Original in its Way — Gerald Fenech listens to orchestral music by Brazilian composer Alberto Nepomuceno. 'The programme is delivered with panache and polished maturity ...'

Multiple Minds — The Concert Music of Mark Arnest: A Preliminary Investigation into the eclectic American composer, by Gordon Andrew R

CD Spotlight. Delicate Textures — Songs for soprano and ensemble by Symon Clarke, enjoyed by Geoff Pearce. '... the music is very well-written, thoughtful and beautifully performed.'

CD Spotlight. New York, New York — Giuseppe Pennisi is impressed by Joanne Chang's piano recital featuring music by Debussy, Ravel, Scriabin, Ernesto Lecuona and May Aufderheide. 'She is very passionate and sweet ...'

CD Spotlight. A Fine Composer — Orchestral music by American composer Barbara Harbach, heard by Geoff Pearce. '... the London Philharmonic Orchestra is very fine and conductor David Angus obviously provides great insight into how this music should be performed.'

Ensemble. Innovative for the Time — Giuseppe Pennisi discovers Nicola Bonifacio Logroscino's Stabat Mater at the Ravello Festival

Ensemble. Soft Romanticism — Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Schubert, Wagner and Mozart from Daniele Gatti and the Mozart Orchestra at the Ravello Festival

CD Spotlight. Matching Words with Music — Gerald Fenech listens to music for soprano and clarinet by Lori Laitman, Kalmen Opperman and Diana Rosenblum. 'The programme is delivered with panache and polished maturity ...'

CD Spotlight. In Tune with the Changing Times — Giuseppe Pennisi discovers the eighteenth century Neapolitan composer Girolamo Rossi. '... an important discovery.'

CD Spotlight. A Swiss Household Name — Music for guitar by Hans Haug and Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... the enchanting playing of Marisa Minder is memorable throughout.'

CD Spotlight. Beethoven the Innovator — Cuarteto Casals plays a selection of Beethoven string quartets, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi. 'All of the highest quality.'

CD Spotlight. Somewhat Disturbing — Thought-provoking music by Naomi Pinnock, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'The performances and attention to detail were impressive, which added to my enjoyment and comprehension of the music.'

CD Spotlight. Hallmarks of a Troubled Mindset — Patrick Maxwell listens critically to the Fitzwilliam String Quartet's Schubert. 'This CD holds within some extremely heart-rending, joyous and emotionally infused music, played by some wonderful individual players.'

Ensemble. Absolute Purity of Tone — American mezzo Joyce DiDonato's Met Stars Live recital from Germany, reviewed by Maria Nockin

Ensemble. It Pays to be Brave — George Frideric Handel's 'Rinaldo' in Florence, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi

CD Spotlight. Magic and Mystery — Gerald Fenech listens to music for guitar and orchestra played by Junhong Kuang, Darrell Ang and the Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Pardubice. 'An attractive assortment of guitar music from both sides of the Atlantic, marvellously executed and recorded, with some well researched notes thrown in for good measure.'

CD Spotlight. A Very Impressive Disc — Geoff Pearce listens to music for trumpet by Australian composer Brendan Collins. 'There is some fantastic playing by all the artists on the disc which is sure to delight all who hear it.'

Classical music news - September 2020 Obituaries — Our summary of those the classical music world has lost this month

CD Spotlight. A Multifaceted Intellectual — Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Saint-Saëns' opéra fantastique 'Le timbre d'argent'. 'From the very start of the overture, the listener feels that this is a brisk and expert ensemble.'

Classical music news - The English Music Festival — The Sussex-based festival plays its part in the return to music-making in the UK with an Autumn Festival on 9 and 20 October 2020

Ensemble. Experimental Music in Rome — Giuseppe Pennisi drops in to the ArtScience Festival and the Roman Philharmonic Academy's Garden Festival

CD Spotlight. Between Centuries and Cultures — Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Johann Simon Mayr's 1814 opera 'Le due duchesse'. 'The richness is clear from the Sinfonia.'

CD Spotlight. Particularly Arresting — Further music by the recently deceased American composer Paul Reale impresses Geoff Pearce. 'Although these works are in an unmistakably modern idiom, they are exciting, fresh and performed with panache.'

CD Spotlight. The Sweetness of Life — Giuseppe Pennisi listens to harpsichord music by François Couperin. '... the key note is B flat major which at the time was an experimental, almost avant-garde tonality. Jory Vinikour shows it very well and demonstrates how Couperin was ahead of many other harpsichordists.'

Classical music news - Eleonora Perretta — A young Neapolitan guitarist wins the 2020 Mottola Guitar Competition in south-east Italy

Classical music news - Virtual Cellobello Gala 2020 — Yo-Yo Ma, Mischa Maisky, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Alisa Weilerstein and Pieter Wispelwey will perform at the virtual CelloBello Gala on Sunday 11 October 2020

Classical music news - MITO SettembreMusica — Hosted by the Italian cities of Milan and Turin, MITO SettembreMusica 2020 was different to all other previous editions of the festival

CD Spotlight. Imaginative Prowess — Gerald Fenech listens to piano music by the twentieth century English composer Herbert Howells. 'Deeply attractive music, sensitively played and sumptuously recorded.'

CD Spotlight. Mystical Eastern Chants — Gerald Fenech is impressed by Igor Kuljerić's Croatian Glagolitic Requiem. 'An enticing discovery that has all the hallmarks to command serious investigation from all music lovers across the board. Sound and presentation are first-rate.'

Ensemble. Engagingly Vigorous — Mike Wheeler watches 'Nottingham Stories: Separation and Serenade', a series of videos created by Carmen Flores, director of Nottingham Chamber Music Festival

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.'

Ensemble. A Touch of Verdi in Rossini's Last Work — Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Opera Roma's grand performance of Petite Messe Solennelle in Rome

CD Spotlight. Graceful and Charming — Gerald Fenech enjoys orchestral operatic music by Auber, recorded in the Czech Republic. 'An excellent compilation ... of some really bouncy music in good sound and annotations.'

CD Spotlight. Changes of Mood — Geoff Pearce is impressed by Carl Nielsen's music for solo violin and for violin and piano. 'The performances are of a high standard, as one would expect, and violinist Hasse Borup and pianist Andrew Staupe play the music with great affection and attention to detail.'

Classical music news - The Story of Babar — On Friday 6 November 2020, Nimbus will release a CD single of Miriam Margolyes and Simon Callaghan performing Poulenc's setting of Cécile and Jean de Brunhoff's 'The Story of Babar, the Little Elephant'

CD Spotlight. Truly Riveting Stuff — Gerald Fenech explores a harmonia mundi disc depicting folly in various forms. 'This music is without doubt Stephanie d'Oustrac's territory, and she once again rises to the occasion with some superlative singing full of heartfelt passion, feverish emotion and dramatic intensity.'

Classical music news - October 2020 Obituaries — Our summary of those the classical music world has lost this month

Classical music news - Fermi's Paradox — Sono Luminus releases a new recording by Carolyn Surrick and Ronn McFarlane

Classical music news - Schubert via Zoom — Sing and/or play Schubert's Mass in G online

CD Spotlight. Ready for a Revival — Giuseppe Pennisi listens to 'Phèdre' - a rare opera by Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne. 'The distinct feature of Lemoyne's opera is the weight and importance given to the protagonist. The role is sung by the Dutch soprano Judith van Wanroij: it fits her perfectly as can be felt in her initial major arias, with chorus as well as with other members of the cast.'

Ensemble. A Space to Reflect — Adam J Sacks was at the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra's season opener for music by Copland, Beethoven, Doming Lam and Richard Strauss

Classical music news - The Piano Student — A 2019 novel about pianist Vladimir Horowitz is published in the United States and United Kingdom this month in an English translation

Inventiveness and Determination — Mike Wheeler recommends full support for Opera North's autumn 2020 schedule

CD Spotlight. Dash and Verve — Gerald Fenech listens to Piano Concertos 3, 4 and 5 by the enigmatic Camille Saint-Saëns. 'Alexandre Kantorow performs these highly attractive concertos with terrific panache, energy and a forward-thrusting momentum that make the whole project deeply distinctive while respecting throughout the composer's imaginative and innovative bravado.'

Classical music news - Refugee Orchestra Project — New commissions are up and running in Lidiya Yankovskaya's project which demonstrates the importance of refugees to the United States cultural scene

Profile. Until Dawn — Ona Jarmalavičiūtė talks to Austrian composer, violinist and lecturer Thomas Wally

Ensemble. A Fine Balance — Mike Wheeler listens to Thomas Hawkes playing J S Bach, Percy Fletcher, Pietro Yon, Johannes Brahms, C S Lang and Louis Vierne on the Compton Organ at Derby Cathedral

Ensemble. A Survival Strategy — Giuseppe Pennisi writes about the current music scene in Italy, touching on recent notable performances

CD Spotlight. Don Giovanni's Ancestor — Giuseppe Pennisi listens to the seventeenth century 'L'Empio Punito' by Alessandro Melani. '... a real discovery for opera lovers who have not experienced a live performance.'

CD Spotlight. Beethoven's Favourite Instrument — Peter Hill and Benjamin Frith play piano four hand music by the genius from Bonn, recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... devotedly recorded, impressively executed, rewardingly researched.'

Ensemble. Bursts of Light — Mike Wheeler listens to Simon Russell's offering for the Derby Cathedral Autumn Organ Recital Series

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. Time and Space — Geoff Pearce recommends accessible contemporary music for cello by French composer Dominique Lemaître, played by Dan Barrett. 'All the artists involved, and especially cellist Dan Barrett, produce truly inspirational music making.'

Classical music news - Muti Returns to Palermo — Riccardo Muti will be back in Palermo for three concerts and will be granted freedom of the city

Ensemble. A Delightful Morning — Diana Damrau and Joseph Calleja sing live from Caserta in Italy as part of Met Stars Live in Concert, experienced by Maria Nockin

CD Spotlight. Górecki's Strings — Giuseppe Pennisi compares two recent recordings of Górecki string quartets. '... Quatuor Molinari has a more melancholic approach than the Tippett Quartet.'

CD Spotlight. Awakening the Joy for Life — Béla Hartmann is impressed by music for clarinet and piano by Brahms and Widmann played by Jörg Widmann and András Schiff. 'In every respect this is a superb CD, combining playing of the highest craft and musical understanding with great works of the past, as well as new contributions which are likely to become established regulars in the modern piano repertoire.'

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. A Nuanced, Idiomatic Portrayal — San Diego Opera's first drive-in opera - 'La bohème', appreciated by Maria Nockin

Ensemble. Italy's Last 'Traviata' (For a While) — Giuseppe Pennisi reports on Verdi's opera in Rieti

Classical music news. November 2020 Newsletter — 'Time and Space', Classical Music Daily's November 2020 Newsletter, has just been published, along with an assortment of short news items

CD Spotlight. Enormous Potential — Orchestral music by Hans Rott impresses Geoff Pearce. '... fine performances and warmth of sound ...'

CD Spotlight. Love, Jealousy and Madness — Music inspired by Ariosto's poem 'Orlando Furioso', heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Filippo Mineccia sings with an exceptional timbre that is sensual and luminous, mixing virtuosity with sensitivity, while Pablo Garcia and his ensemble give sympathetic support with their insightful playing.'

CD Spotlight. A Philological Discovery — Giuseppe Pennisi listens to a Naxos boxed set of Monteverdi madrigals. 'I think it was successful and is worth listening to by those accustomed to different ways of performing Monteverdi.'

Ensemble. Nicely Varied — Peter Siepmann plays Johann Sebastian Bach, Maurice Duruflé and César Franck on the Compton organ at Derby Cathedral, heard by Mike Wheeler

Ensemble. True Balletic Virtuosity — Adam J Sacks reports from the first performance of HK Ballet's new season

CD Spotlight. Immense Joy — Gerald Fenech listens to Beethoven and Gossec symphonies. 'A first-rate project deserving of the most serious of investigations.'

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. A Unique and Modern Dissonance — The complete piano music of Lennox Berkeley, heard by Patrick Maxwell. '... Douglas Stevens has given all of his works here a brilliant series of renditions ...'

Classical music news. Winner's Tour — Dmytro Choni gives recitals in Spain after winning the nineteenth Paloma O'Shea Santander International Piano Competition

CD Spotlight. Excellent Music Overshadowed — Geoff Pearce has a first encounter with the music of Zdeněk Fibich. '... fine performances and warmth of sound ...'

CD Spotlight. Triumphant Optimism — Lucas Ball compares two Beethoven choral works on a new recording from harmonia mundi. 'I love what the chorus does here ...'

Ensemble. Horns and Headlights? — Ron Bierman reports on San Diego Opera's 'La bohème' from a parking lot in San Diego

Classical music news. Edward Chilvers — Idiosyncratic pianist Edward Chilvers has devised a dice and mathematical chart system 'to follow nature not convention'

CD Spotlight. Quietly Ambiguous — Stephen Francis Vasta feels vaguely let down by Mami Shikimori and the Wihan Quartet's performances of Fauré and Franck. '... wonderfully committed and incisive playing.'

CD Spotlight. Liszt the Pilgrim — Michele Campanella's recording of Liszt's 'Années de pèlerinage', reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi. '... a virtuoso rendering with a very personal touch.'

CD Spotlight. A Vision of Ambivalence and Incoherence — Music by Kalevi Aho, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... it makes huge demands on the listener ...'

CD Spotlight. An Integral Part of Christmas — Carols from the SWR Vokal Ensemble, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... beautifully shaped and vocally refined and the voices come across clear and resonant.'

Ensemble. Great Emphasis on Detail — Giuseppe Pennisi enjoys streamed performances of a Carmen double bill in Rome

CD Spotlight. Stylistically Varied — Geoff Pearce recommends music by Mikis Theodorakis and Jani Christou. '... the varied moods, colours and textures are brought vividly to life.'

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.'

CD Spotlight. Revisiting the Close Bond of Violin and Guitar — Kim Sjøgren and Lars Hannibal play music by Paganini and Sarasate, heard by Ona Jarmalavičiūtė. '... very elegant, vibrant, virtuosic and illustrative.'

Ensemble. An Innovative Approach — Giuseppe Pennisi experiences three operas from the 2020 Donizetti Opera Festival

Ensemble. Brecht and Weill's Final Collaboration — 'The Seven Deadly Sins' streamed live by Opera North, reviewed by Mike Wheeler

CD Spotlight. Angels in Paris — Two sets of solo flute music by Charles Koechlin, recommended by Geoff Pearce. '... Nicola Woodward's flute playing in the two sets that I have heard is sumptuous and varied, and one could not wish for a finer performance.'

Ensemble. ROF is Back and in Good Spirits — Giuseppe Pennisi reports on 'Il barbiere di Siviglia' and the Rossini Opera Festival's current performances

CD Spotlight. Six Composers, Piano, Strings and Voice — Ona Jarmalavičiūtė listens to works by six female composers. '... performed profoundly ...'

CD Spotlight. Symphonic Fantasias on Songs — Peter Breiner's 'Slovak Dances, Naughty and Sad', recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Elegant and full of warmth, these dances are imaginatively orchestrated and extremely well crafted, and the playing is wonderfully affective.'

Classical music news - November 2020 Obituaries — Our summary of those the classical music world has lost this month

A Tale of Two Centuries — Jenna Orkin reads Emile Naoumoff's 'Chronicles With Nadia Boulanger'

Classical music news. Personal, Political and Social Lockdown — An assortment of short news items, plus 'Seven Deadly Sins', Classical Music Daily's December 2020 Newsletter, just published in a new audio podcast format

Ensemble. Zubin's Otello — Giuseppe Pennisi watches a new Florence production of Verdi's 'Otello' on Italian TV

CD Spotlight. Merriment and Joy — Music by Nicola Matteis, John Banister, Gottfried Finger, Matthew Locke and Johann Schop, warmly recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Elegant and full of warmth, these dances are imaginatively orchestrated and extremely well crafted, and the playing is wonderfully affective.'

Ensemble. Modern Italian Music in Rome — Works by Francesco Pennisi, Goffredo Petrassi and Marcello Panni, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi

CD Spotlight. A Tango Like You've Never Heard Before — Ona Jarmalavičiūtė listens to music by Kuljit Bhamra and Davide Giovannini. '... always colorful, never boring, even though at times overflowing with impressions.'

CD Spotlight. Firm Yuletide Favourites — Keith Bramich listens to a wide range of Christmas carols from Clifton Catholic Cathedral. 'Generally, everything is well-sung, tight and in-tune.'

Ensemble. Hundreds of Thousands in Line for a Barber — A new Rome production of Rossini's 'Barber of Seville' especially for TV, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi

Ensemble. The Greatest La Scala Extravaganza — An unusual opening to La Scala's season in Milan, reported by Giuseppe Pennisi

CD Spotlight. Strangely Less Familiar — Telemann Christmas Cantatas, warmly recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'There is no doubt that Willens and his team believe wholeheartedly in Telemann's work, and these pieces are perfectly executed by all involved.'

CD Spotlight. Enchanting and Powerful — Patrick Maxwell listens to Bruckner motets. '... performed superbly ...'

CD Spotlight. Christmas Night — Seventeenth and eighteenth century Italian festive music, strongly recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'This is a compilation full of craft and ingenuity ...'

Classical music news. Pirates Ahoy! — A new anti-piracy software service is set to curb the lockdown spike in illegal music streaming

Classical music news - December 2020 Obituaries — Our summary of those the classical music world has lost this month

Ensemble. A Delightful Addition to Christmas — Bryn Terfel in Wales, the latest Met Stars live in concert, reviewed by Maria Nockin

Ensemble. Exhilarating Final Moments — Opera North's live streaming of Beethoven's 'Fidelio' impresses Mike Wheeler

CD Spotlight. A Chronological Journey — A box set of Beethoven's keyboard compositions played by Cyprien Katsaris and enjoyed by Gerald Fenech. '... a clear biographical testament to one of the most influential composers of all time.'

The Therapeutic Power of Music — Giuseppe Pennisi writes about Christmas in music for children in Italy

Ensemble. Happy Birthday Ludwig — Julian Jacobson's BPSE Beethoven birthday recital, reviewed by Malcolm Miller

How Audiences See the World — Reinventing music for social media during the COVID-19 pandemic, by John Dante Prevedini

CD Spotlight. An Atmosphere of Serene Beauty — Matthew Washington Kennedy's 'familiar favorites', recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Hugely pleasant stuff, passionately executed and recorded.'

Classical music news - Free Tuition in Spain — Madrid's Reina Sofía School of Music is accepting applications for auditions

CD Spotlight. A Real Adventure — Christmas in seventeenth century Mexico, conjured up by Siglo de Oro, Patrick Allies and friends, greatly impresses Keith Bramich. 'Siglo de Oro's performances here are superbly well-blended, joyously fresh and optimistic, seemingly flowing over and through the listener, sweeping them along in a stream of Mexican-tinged Renaissance splendour.'

Classical music news - Contemporary Classical Music from Iran — Petrichor Records announces four new CD releases of contemporary classical music from Iranian and Iranian-American composers

CD Spotlight. Sensitive and Thoughtful — More Christmas music from Clifton Cathedral, heard by Keith Bramich. '... this 1997 choir has a crisper sound than its 1987 vintage, and the ensemble is neater.'

Ensemble. Christmas is for Concerts — Giuseppe Pennisi makes his festive choice from the Italian media

CD Spotlight. Jubilant Performance — Christmas music from the Bristol Brass Consort, enjoyed by Keith Bramich. '... the arrangements here are varied and interesting, and the standard of performance quality is high.'

CD Spotlight. A Memorable Recording — Music by Bo Holten, heard by Geoff Pearce. '... storytelling at its best.'

CD Spotlight. Fine and Engaging Harpsichord Music — Gerald Fenech listens to works by Gottlieb Muffat and George Frideric Handel. 'Flóra Fábri's technique is solid as a rock, and her judgement of rubato and ornamentation is absolutely unblemished.'

CD Spotlight. Animals or Aliens? — Keith Bramich listens, unprepared, to instrumental and chamber music by Enno Poppe. 'These academic new music works are expertly played but won't appeal to everyone.'

Classical music news. Obituary — Fou Ts'ong (1934-2020)

Classical music news. Obituary — Ivry Gitlis (1922-2020)