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Thursday 22 March 2018

J S Bach: St John Passion. © 2018 Naxos Rights (Europe) Ltd  Publicity image for Opera North's 'Madama Butterfly'  Revival of John Copley's production of 'Semiramide' at New York Metropolitan Opera, 19 February-17 March 2018  David Henshaw (left) and Malcolm Goldring  Olly Wilson (1937-2018)  Peter Garland: Moon Viewing Music. © 2018 Cold Blue Music  Vassily Sinaisky. Photo © Marco Borggreve



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* CD Spotlight. Somewhat Brisk - J S Bach's 'St John Passion', heard by Geoff Pearce. 'All in all, this is a fine set ...'

* Anniversaries: Gerard Hoffnung; Hamish MacCunn; Francesco Gasparini; Alan Opie; Mykola Lysenko; Jean-Baptiste Lully; Norman Scribner

* Today's concerts: Rossini: The Barber of Seville; Copenhagen, DK; Mornington Sinfonia - Rossini and Tchaikovsky; London, UK

* Festivals, competitions and masterclasses: Festival Printemps des Arts (16 March-8 April); Monte Carlo, MC

Recent Articles

Ensemble. A Nasty Tale - Opera North's 'Madama Butterfly', reviewed by Mike Wheeler

Ensemble. Rarely more than Loosely Acted - Maria Nockin reviews John Copley's production of Rossini's 'Semiramide' in HD from New York Metropolitan Opera, without Copley

Ensemble. A Serious Miscalculation - Music for choir and saxophone, heard by Mike Wheeler

Classical music news - Olly Wilson (1937-2018); Ivan Davis (1932-2018); more ...

CD Spotlight. Inscrutable Stillness - Music by Peter Garland impresses Anett Fodor. 'It was the first - but I am sure not the last - time that I had listened to Garland's music and for 34 minutes time stood still while I was listening to it.'

Ensemble. Bracing Energy - Beethoven and Tchaikovsky from Pavel Kolesnikov, Vassily Sinaisky and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra impress Mike Wheeler

CD Spotlight. Unforced Musicality - The three big Tchaikovsky ballets, heard by Stephen Francis Vasta. 'Järvi always maintains the right lightness ...'

Ensemble. Faith and Revolution - Poulenc's 'Dialogues des Carmélites' in Bologna, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi

Classical music news - Charlotte Penton-Smith; more ...

CD Spotlight. Spiritual Balance - Reinhard Keiser's Markus-Passion impresses Gerald Fenech. 'Christian Brembeck and his team deliver a performance brimming with vibrant imagery and committed, stylish singing while adhering to Keiser's wishes by moving from verse to verse with effortless purpose.'

Ensemble. Pungent Melancholy - Derby Concert Orchestra plays Rimsky-Korsakov, Sibelius, Dvorák and Tchaikovsky, heard by Mike Wheeler

Classical music news - Mottola Guitar Festival; Milko Kelemen (1924-2018); Kjerstin Dellert (1925-2018); Mykhaylo Chemberzhi (1944-2018); more ...

Ensemble. A Short Bittersweet Opera - Stravinsky's 'A Soldier's Tale', heard by Giuseppe Pennisi

Ensemble. Pure Joy - Puccini's 'La bohème' in high definition from New York Metropolitan Opera, heard by Maria Nockin

Classical music news - Uuno Klami Competition; more ...

CD Spotlight. Wholly Distinctive - Olga Solovieva plays Herman Galynin, highly recommended by the late Howard Smith. 'How judiciously this pianist measures the weight and mood of each item within her entire programme.'

CD Spotlight. Strong Jazz Influences - Wind music by Frank Martin, enjoyed by Geoff Pearce. 'The rhythmic precision is impressive, the solos are played confidently and the intonation and quality of timbre of all instruments is absolutely spot on.'

Ensemble. Bold and Daring - Contrasting Busoni and Puccini in Cagliari, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi

Classical music news - Jesús López Cobos (1940-2018); more ...

CD Spotlight. Timeless Significance - The Lassus St Matthew Passion, lauded by Gerald Fenech. 'Bo Holten and Musica Ficta give unerring performances, and their immaculate communication of the text added to the purity of the singing certainly contribute immensely to the enjoyment of this rarely heard work.'

CD Spotlight. Delightful Listening - Symphonies by Johann Evangelist Brandl, heard by Geoff Pearce. '... a great disc of unfamiliar music, well played and directed ...'

Classical music news - Magical Transformation - March 2018 Newsletter (PDF, 600kb); Juan Hidalgo Codorniu (1938-2018); more ...

Ensemble. A Lucid Sound-world - Mendelssohn, Brahms and Beethoven from Viviane Hagner, Karina Canellakis and the Hallé Orchestra, heard by Mike Wheeler

Ensemble. Late Romanticism - Giuseppe Pennisi is moved by Richard Strauss and Schoenberg played by the Stradivari Sextet

Ensemble. Carnal Passion and Religion - Giuseppe Pennisi is more impressed by the musical than the visual aspects of Donizetti's 'La favorite' in Florence

Calm Authority - A recital by young British-Turkish pianist Lara Melda impresses Mike Wheeler

Ensemble. A Slice of Life - Giuseppe Pennisi is impressed with the first performance of Marco Tutino's 'Miseria e Nobilità'

Classical music news - Beebe Freitas (1938-2018); Heli Lääts (1932-2018); Gian Paolo Mele (1944-2018); more ...

Ensemble. A Worthy Successor - Tomáš Netopil steps in to conduct the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra in Nottingham, impressing Mike Wheeler

Profile. Magical Transformation - Ron Bierman talks to the American dramatic soprano Lise Lindstrom during rehearsals for Puccini's 'Turandot' at San Diego Opera

CD Spotlight. A Magnificent Project - Wind band music by Percy Grainger impresses Paul Sarcich. '... a band of obviously first-rate musicians, informed conducting from Engeset, and excellent recording ...'

Mixed Successes - George Colerick writes about the operettas of Franz Lehár

Ensemble. A Doll's House - A new production of Bellini's 'La Sonnambula', experienced by Giuseppe Pennisi

CD Spotlight. Excellent and Compelling - Chamber music by John McCabe impresses Geoff Pearce. 'This is a fantastic disc, both for the performances and also for this largely unfamiliar music.'


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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