CD Spotlight. Many Positives - Brahms' Requiem in English astounds Gerald Fenech. '... this four-hand arrangement has a captivating, translucent sound-world that transports the listener into the realms of contemplative existence; an exercise in meditative tranquility.'
Anniversaries: Charles Tournemire; Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District; Henri Dutilleux; Leslie Bassett; Aurèle Nicolet; Rita Gorr
Festivals, competitions and masterclasses: Valletta International Baroque Festival (13-27 January); Valletta, MT
CD Spotlight. Beautifully Sensitive - Symphonic poems by Vítezslav Novák, heard by Roderic Dunnett. 'For anyone unfamiliar with Novák's output, a disc well worth beginning with.'
Ensemble. Forcefully Engaging - A school production of 'Carmen', reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Classical music news - Anshel Brusilow (1928-2018); François Morel (1928-2018); more ...
CD Spotlight. Welcome Indeed - Judith Aller plays Corelli and Kreisler, highly recommended by the late Howard Smith. 'How gratifying to discover another fine, established American violinist who did not emerge from the Galamian-DeLay assembly line.'
DVD Spotlight. Hard to Chew - Music by Axel Borup-Jørgensen, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'This is music that needs to be listened to several times before one can start to comprehend the composer's inner thoughts ...'
Ensemble. Sublime Romanticism - Valery Gergiev conducts Tchaikovsky's 'Iolanta', impressing Giuseppe Pennisi
Classical music news - Pierre Pincemaille (1956-2018); more ...
Ensemble. The Romantic Connection - Kodály, Glass and Bruckner, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
CD Spotlight. Interesting Music - Orchestral works by Martin Georgiev, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'Direction and performances are first class, and for people who appreciate contemporary classical music, there is a lot to enjoy here.'
Ensemble. Risky on Paper - Mark Elder and the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain impress Mike Wheeler
Book Review. Exceptionally Well Informed - James Hamilton-Paterson's 'Sinfonia Eroica', highly recommended by Gerald Fenech
Ensemble. Sophisticated Elegance - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to music by Giacinto Scelsi
CD Spotlight. Seemingly Interminable - German lieder from Wilhelm Pfeiffer, heard by the late Howard Smith. '... to hear this fine music performed with consummate artistry and fidelity to these composers' wishes I can only suggest you look elsewhere.'
Classical music news - Colin Brumby (1933-2018); Konrad Ragossnig (1932-2018); more ...
CD Spotlight. A Surreal Plot - Piazzolla and Ferrer's 'María de Buenos Aires', strongly recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... the tunes Piazzolla conjured up, a mix of classical forms and Argentine traditions, are consistently vibrant, emotional and at moments compellingly dramatic.'
Classical music news - Debussy: The Complete Works; more ...
CD Spotlight. Simple Means - Late Schubert and Brahms piano works, recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Celebrated Mexican virtuoso Jorge Federico Osorio's performances combine a clarity of texture with an articulate sense of rhythmic brilliance, giving these pieces a freshness and spontaneity that are wholly arresting.'
CD Spotlight. Absolutely Superb - The Altius Quartet plays Shostakovich, recommended by Geoff Pearce. 'I hope that the Altius Quartet goes on to record the whole cycle, and perhaps the Piano Quintets and Trios as well. This is a very fine ensemble of exciting young musicians.'
CD Spotlight. Empathetic Performances - Beethoven and Clement violin concertos, heard by the late Howard Smith. '... Barton-Pine's faultlessly sculpted performance is unequivocally persuasive ...'
Classical music news - Roberto Sierra; Fabulously Tidal - January 2018 Newsletter (PDF, 512kb); more ...
Classical music news - Bantock Letters; more ...
CD Spotlight. Heart-wrenching Scenes - Leonardo Vinci's 'Didone Abbandonata', recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Superbly performed and recorded, this set is a must for all opera lovers who are genuinely interested in discovering a work that has been hidden for too long despite its extreme beauty.'
CD Spotlight. Movingly Realized - Hindson, Corigliano and Liszt played by Lara St John, heard by the late Howard Smith. 'As the grinding sounds of industry and sweeping whoosh of turbine blades recede, St John distances her tone for the central lyrical episode ...'
CD Spotlight. Superbly Played - Nineteenth century music for bassoon and piano, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'For bassoonists, this disc is indispensable. Bravo.'
Ensemble. Glorious New Directions - Roderic Dunnett looks ahead to 2018 and celebrates more of the best English provincial opera from 2017, at Garsington, Longborough and Winslow Hall
CD Spotlight. Purposeful Spirit - Music by Jeremy Beck, heard by the late Howard Smith. '... I cannot help but admire an unfamiliar creative talent displaying assured composition while simultaneously avoiding atonality, minimalism, aleatory follies, electronics, musique concrète or the murky waters of crossover-ism.'
Ensemble. Familiar and Unfamiliar - The Sitwell Singers' Christmas concert, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Rendered in Masterly Fashion - An anthology of twentieth century music impresses Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Engagingly Light on its Feet - Handel's 'Messiah' from Derby Choral Union, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. A Bit Too Long - Derby Concert Orchestra's Christmas Concert, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Deftly Navigated - Jeffrey Reid Baker, Tchaikovsky, Debussy, Bizet and Rachmaninov from the Cann Twins at Nottingham's Royal Concert Hall, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Highly Interesting - British music for cello and piano, enthralls Gerald Fenech. 'An important addition to the genre's discography in excellent performances, sound and annotations ...'
CD Spotlight. Absolutely Delightful - Woodwind music by Scott Pender, enjoyed by Geoff Pearce. 'This is a fine, enjoyable disc, and the performers are all first class.'