CD Spotlight. Quite Special - 'The Snow Queen' by Kenji Bunch, recommended by Geoff Pearce. '... there are moments of terrifying power, and also of great tenderness.'
Anniversaries: Galina Vishnevskaya; Ravi Shankar; Hans Wallat; Elliott Carter; Valentina Lisitsa; Victor De Sabata
Festivals, competitions and masterclasses: Christmas Music Festival - Church Holidays in the Land of Mary (27 November - 7 January); Tallinn, EE
Ensemble. A Sumptuous Production - La Scala revives 'Andrea Chénier', reviewed via live HD projection by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Centres of Excellence - Roderic Dunnett looks back to the 2017 Three Choirs Festival at Worcester, and forward to 2018 in Hereford
Ensemble. Much Applauded - The Joy of Marionette Operas, by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. The Great American Symphony? - Mike Wheeler listens to music by Aaron Copland, as played by John Wilson and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
CD Spotlight. Flaming Intensity - String quartets by Ullmann, Shostakovich and Laks impress Gerald Fenech. '... in this miraculous music you can also experience passion, hope, gratitude and the unlimited resilience of the human spirit.'
CD Spotlight. View from the Celli - Philip Sawyers' Symphony No 3 impresses Alice McVeigh. 'Pummelled strings rise turbulent beneath great brass chords: the entire fisting orchestra soars, confident, triumphant and united at last.'
Ensemble. The Egyptian - Early twentieth century French music by Ibert, Saint Saëns, Debussy and Ravel, heard by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Subdued Radiance - Mike Wheeler listens to music on the theme of Remembrance from the Derwent Singers
Classical music news - Stravinsky's Funeral Song; A Sketch of Slow Time - December 2017 Newsletter (PDF, 1169kb); more ...
Classical music news - Clotilde Rosa (1930-2017); Carol Neblett (1946-2017); more ...
Ensemble. Early Opera in the English Provinces - Roderic Dunnett applauds some of this year's successes and glances ahead to 2018
CD Spotlight. Truly Compelling - Three of Haydn's 'Sun' Quartets, enjoyed by Gerald Fenech. 'The renowned Chiaroscuro Quartet gives superlative renditions of these masterpieces, and with tempos, blend and balance superbly judged, refinement and subtlety are consistently to the fore.'
CD Spotlight. Infinitely Varied - English music for solo guitar, enjoyed by Geoff Pearce. 'If you love English guitar music, and the performances of Julian Bream in particular, you will truly enjoy this disc.'
Ensemble. Lavish and Effective - Marco Tutino's 'La Ciociara' comes to Italy and impresses Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. A Momentous Experience - Thomas Adès' 'The Exterminating Angel' in HD from New York Metropolitan Opera, reviewed by Maria Nockin
Classical music news - R Murray Schafer; Dmitri Hvorostovsky (1962-2017); more ...
CD Spotlight. Diverse Elements - Music by Duruflé and Respighi attracts Gerald Fenech. '... passionate and wholly committed performance ...'
Ensemble. Autumn Trilogy - Giuseppe Pennisi writes about three operas on the brink of the twentieth century, performed as a cycle in Ravenna
CD Spotlight. A Powerful Experience - Symphonies by László Lajtha, welcolmed by Geoff Pearce. '... the performance and recording are truly first rate.'
Ensemble. A New Don Quixote - Giuseppe Pennisi describes the opening of Teatro dell'Opera di Roma's new ballet season, with a new version of Ludwig Minkus' work, creating a stylised and colorful fairytale world
Ensemble. A Joy to Hear - Michael Foyle and Maksim Stsura play Beethoven, Franck and Elgar, impressing Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. The Triumph of Music - The first performance of Salvatore Sciarrino's 'Ti vedo, ti sento, mi perdo', reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. A Jubilant Celebration - Rachmaninov, Shostakovich, Offenbach and Tchaikovsky from Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Mirga Grazinyte-Tyla and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, enjoyed by Mike Wheeler
Engrossing Results - Hungarian pianist Daniel Lebhardt plays Schubert, Mozart and Rachmaninov, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Immaculately Crazy - Red Priest's 'Baroque Bohemians' impresses Alice McVeigh. '... extreme alternations of mood, from manic charges to bucolic brusqueness, with serious offbeat percussive work ... and general anarchy ...'
Ensemble. Modernizing Monteverdi and Mozart - Giuseppe Pennisi experiences two very different performances
CD Spotlight. Richly Nourished - Hebrew music from violinist Maurice Sklar, heard by the late Howard Smith. 'Sklar's inspirational concert is faithful from start to finish.'
Ensemble. Wonderfully Louche - Bernstein's 'Trouble in Tahiti' and Gilbert and Sullivan's 'Trial by Jury', reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Beyond Expectation - Roderic Dunnett looks back to Nevill Holt Opera's 2017 'Tosca' and 'Noye's Fludde', and forward to the company's 2018 season
CD Spotlight. Great Partners - Music for clarinet and piano, enjoyed by Geoff Pearce. 'This great disc will bring joy to everyone who listens to it.'
Ensemble. Magically Realised - Ravel's 'L'Enfant et les Sortilèges' and Janácek's 'Osud', reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ask Alice - Advice misconstrued, bad timing and ill luck, with Classical Music Agony Aunt Alice McVeigh