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Monday 11 December 2017

Kenji Bunch: The Snow Queen - Orchestra Next / Brian McWhorter. © 2017 Orchestra Next  Anna Netrebko in Act I of Giordano's 'Andrea Chénier' at Teatro alla Scala, Milan. Photo © 2017 Brescia/Amisano  Peter Nardone greets the applause with soloists Ruth Holton, Ed Lyon and Robert Evans, the Three Choirs Festival Chorus and Philharmonia Orchestra, after their thrilling 2017 Three Choirs Festival Finale, 'An English Farewell'. Photo © 2017 Michael Whitefoot  A scene from Jacopo Melani's 'Il Girello' at Teatro Verdi di Pisa. Photo © 2017 Imaginarium Creative Studio  Aaron Copland in 1962  Voices of Defiance - Ullmann, Shostakovich, Laks. © 2017 Cedille Records  Philip Sawyers: Symphony No 3; Songs of Loss and Regret; Fanfare. © 2017 Wyastone Estate Ltd

                

 

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* 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

Recent Articles

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

 

Sponsored Features

Philip Sawyers: Symphony No 3 / Songs of Loss and Regret / FanfareCD 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.'

Isabella Pitman and Tom Lowen in Freddie Meyers' new opera 'A Sketch of Slow Time'Ensemble. A Great Start - Freddie Meyers' new opera A Sketch of Slow Time impresses Alice McVeigh

Cecil Armstrong Gibbs. Photo: The Armstrong Gibbs SocietyEnsemble. Unjustly Neglected - In this specially extended feature, Armstrong Gibbs' re-discovered 'Passion according to St Luke' impresses Roderic Dunnett

Panorama 1919-2013 - Penelope Cave. © 2016 primafacieCD Spotlight. A Fantastic Collection. Penelope Cave Panorama CD. Little-known harpsichord gems, strongly recommended by Alice McVeigh

John Joubert and April Fredrick at the first performance of 'Jane Eyre'. Photo © 2016 Catherine GosneyEnsemble. A view from the pit - John Joubert's Jane Eyre, praised by Alice McVeigh

Art Fire Soul - Piano works of Judith Lang Zaimont. Elizabeth Moak. © 2011 Judith Lang ZaimontCD Spotlight. An Encyclopedic Recital - Elizabeth Moak plays Judith Lang Zaimont, heard by the late Howard Smith. '... a stature of compelling merit.'

James Brawn - A Beethoven Odyssey Volume 4. © 2015 James BrawnCD Spotlight. Pure Magic - James Brawn's continued Beethoven Odyssey, awaited by Andrew Schartmann. '.. generating excitement with raw textures ...'

L'Heure Romantique - Varda Kotler and Israel KastorianoCD Spotlight. Well Realized - Varda Kotler and Israel Kastoriano - recommended by Geoff Pearce. '.. partnership and sensitivity ...'

James Brawn in Recital. Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition; Bach-Busoni; Liszt; Rachmaninov. © 2013 MSR ClassicsCD Spotlight. True Command - James Brawn plays Bach, Liszt, Musorgsky and Rachmaninov - recommended by Andrew Schartmann. 'The "Promenade" ... is like butter in Brawn's hands.'

Jack Liebeck. Photo © 2014 Phillip CohenEnsemble. Melting Rhapsody - Malcolm Miller enjoys Jack Liebeck and Danny Driver's 'Hebrew Melody' recital, plus a recital by David Aaron Carpenter

Roberta Stephen. Photo courtesy of the Canadian Music CentreAn Integral Part - Lindsey Wallis looks forward to the Canadian Music Centre's tribute concert to composer Roberta Stephen

A Beethoven Odyssey, Volume 3 - James Brawn. © 2014 MSR ClassicsCD Spotlight. Masterful Handling - Volume 3 of James Brawn's Beethoven, praised by Andrew Schartmann. '... his interpretive choices are exquisite.'

A Beethoven Odyssey, Volume 2 - James Brawn. © 2013 MSR ClassicsCD Spotlight. Perfect Indeed - More Beethoven from James Brawn, recommended by Andrew Schartmann. '... a profound - almost spiritual - connection to the music ...'

A Beethoven Odyssey, Volume I - James Brawn. © 2013 MSR ClassicsCD Spotlight. Masterfully Controlled - James Brawn's Beethoven Odyssey impresses Andrew Schartmann. '... the movement bubbles over with excitement ...'

A Tale of Two Cellos - Julian and Jiaxin Lloyd WebberCD Spotlight. Uncommon Piquancy - Music for two cellos, heard by Howard Smith. '... riveting effect.'

Louise Talma (1906-1996)Letter to Louise Talma (Never Sent) - by Jenna Orkin

Sybil Michelow (1925-2013)Think of Something Beautiful - Malcolm Miller pays tribute to contralto Sybil Michelow (1925-2013)

Charles Gounod: Roméo et Juliette. © 2011 Bel Air MediaDVD Spotlight. Olympic Scale - Charles Gounod's Roméo et Juliette, reviewed by Robert Anderson. 'Musically the performance deserves all the applause it gets.'

John Joubert: String Quartets 1, 2, 3. Brodsky Quartet. © 2012 Somm RecordingsCD Spotlight. A Fascinating Recording - John Joubert's string quartets, heard by Alice McVeigh. 'The Brodskys throw themselves into the lament for Shostakovich ...'

Orrett Rhoden performs works for piano by Galuppi, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Brahms, Ravel and Rhoden / Bob Marley. © 2011 Dexter RecordingsCD Spotlight. Most Remarkable - Jamaican pianist Orrett Rhoden, heard by Bill Newman. '... one of the finest on disc ...'

Howells: Requiem; Take him, earth, for cherishing. Choir of Trinity College Cambridge / Stephen Layton. © 2012 Hyperion Records LtdCD Spotlight. Beautifully Apt - Choral music by Herbert Howells, heard by Robert Anderson. '... Howells at his finest.'

Anna Netrebko in Massenet's 'Manon' at New York Metropolitan Opera. Photo © 2012 Ken HowardVocal Glory - Massenet's Manon in HD from New York Metropolitan Opera, enjoyed by Maria Nockin

Rorianne Schrade. Photo © Christian SteinerAn Outstanding Evening - Bill Newman listens to American pianist Rorianne Schrade

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