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2017 CONTENTS

Articles published during the year 2017 are listed below in chronological order of publication, with the most recent at the top of the list:

  • 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.'

  • Ensemble. An Effective Combination - Music for viola and harp from Oliver Wass and Luba Tunnicliffe, reviewed by Mike Wheeler

  • CD Spotlight. Vivaldi Reworkings - Passacaglia Baroque Ensemble, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Passacaglia delivers performances replete with polished precision and rhythmic verve while never neglecting to keep the music's breezy textures centre-stage.'

  • Ensemble. Impish Undercurrents - Prokofiev, Hummel, Sibelius and Mendelssohn from Clare Hammond, Sinfonia Viva and Duncan Ward, found irresistible by Mike Wheeler

  • CD Spotlight. Sensitive Direction - Gustav Mahler's 'Das Klagende Lied', heard by Geoff Pearce. '... a fine performance of a somewhat little-known work.'

  • Ensemble. Innovative and Enthralling - Berlioz's 'La damnation de Faust' at Teatro dell'Opera di Roma, impresses Giuseppe Pennisi

  • CD Spotlight. A Mixed Bag - French horn music for Christmas, enjoyed by Gerald Fenech. 'All praise to the consummate artistry and unstinted support of all those involved, as without them this magical project could not have come to fruition.'

  • Ensemble. Engaging Accounts - A Celebration of the Twentieth Anniversary of Derby Cathedral Girls' Choir, heard by Mike Wheeler

  • CD Spotlight. Joy and Wonder - Merton College Oxford's new Christmas CD, recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'The singing is not only exquisite but has that sense of magic and glory that instills in one's spirit a genuine feeling of hope for a true fraternal love among all men.'

  • Ensemble. An Exceptional Violinist - Lisa Batiashvili plays Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto, and Giuseppe Pennisi is impressed

  • Ensemble. Richly Sonorous - Derby Bach Choir joins forces with Derventio Brass for music by Schütz, Bruckner, Elgar, Walton, Parry, Monteverdi and Rutter, heard by Mike Wheeler

  • 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.'

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Ensemble. Verismo Hokum - Opera North's 'Cav and Pag' in Nottingham, reviewed by Mike Wheeler

  • Ensemble. A Unified Whole - Mark Bebbington joins the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Barry Wordsworth for John Ireland's Piano Concerto, heard by Mike Wheeler

  • Ensemble. Pity for the Misbegotten - Salvatore Sciarrino's opera 'Superflumina', reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi

  • Ensemble. Intimately Done - Paul Sarcich was at the Echoes Festival's PanAmericana concert, which illustrated the cross-influence between North and South American music

  • Ensemble. A Great Start - Freddie Meyers' new opera 'A Sketch of Slow Time' impresses Alice McVeigh

  • CD Spotlight. No Reservations Here - The Meridian Arts Ensemble, heard by the late Howard Smith. '... an unusually broad span of inspired composition.'

  • Ensemble. Musical Values - Lara Downes plays Coleridge-Taylor, Chopin, Bloch, Bernstein transcriptions and Gershwin, heard by Mike Wheeler

  • Ensemble. A Mini 'Magic Flute' - Giuseppe Pennisi attends one of Stefano Belisari's last performances as Elio e le Storie Tese, in one of Mozart's most mysterious and ambiguous operas

  • Ensemble. Expressive Presence - Mendelssohn, Mozart, Judith Weir and Beethoven from Derby Concert Orchestra, heard by Mike Wheeler

  • CD Spotlight. A Unique Journey - Boris Giltburg plays Rachmaninov, delighting Gerald Fenech. '... the soloist is consistently hands on on these challenging scores and his sense of timing and innate feeling for shaping grand tunes are effectively relayed.'

  • Ensemble. A Transatlantic Operatic Cooperation - Giuseppe Pennisi on Puccini's 'La fanciulla del West' in Cagliari

  • Ensemble. More Celebratory than Elegiac - Mark Elder and the Hallé Orchestra at the opening of the Nottingham Royal Concert Hall season, reviewed by Mike Wheeler

  • Ask Alice - Classical Music Agony Aunt Alice McVeigh incites riotous behaviour on behalf of serious music

  • CD Spotlight. Highly Poetic - Angela Brownridge plays Chopin Ballades, heard by Lucas Ball. '... both technically and poetically impressive with a wide range of emotions ...'

  • Ensemble. Colorful Delights - Mozart's 'The Magic Flute', live in HD from New York Metropolitan Opera, impresses Maria Nockin

  • CD Spotlight. Explosive Classics - A Chandos orchestral compilation, enjoyed by Gerald Fenech. '... the programme is as explosive as one can hope for.'

  • CD Spotlight. A Committed Recital - Enrique Graf plays Bach, Mendelssohn and Mussorgsky, heard by the late Howard Smith. '... bold exhilaration and striking poetry.'

  • CD Spotlight. Gloomy and Worthless? - Sergei Rachmaninov's First Symphony impresses Gerald Fenech. 'Ashkenazy and his Philharmonia forces exude a quite brilliant performance full of explosive intensity and exuberance, and yet when warranted, their sensitive attention to detail is consistently refreshing.'

  • Ensemble. Vocally Splendid - Giuseppe Pennisi visits Florence, where the audience is enthralled by the first performance there of Puccini's 'La Rondine'

  • Ensemble. Pure Gold - Maria Nockin loved Bellini's 'Norma' in HD from New York Metropolitan Opera

  • CD Spotlight. Very Satisfying - Chamber music by Gerard Schurmann impresses Geoff Pearce. 'This fine performance is taut, accurate and driven.'

  • Ensemble. A Voices Opera - Gaetano Donizetti's 'Pia de' Tolomei' in Pisa, but on its way to Charleston, South Carolina, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi

  • Ensemble. Loony Plot - Mike Wheeler listens to Sinfonia Viva's performances of Wagner, Milhaud, Martinu and Copland

  • Ensemble. Too Many Notes? - Mike Wheeler listens to Dohnányi, Mozart and Brahms from the Rogeri Ensemble

  • Ensemble. Devil-may-care Frolics - Sinfonia Viva at Derby Folk Festival, reviewed by Mike Wheeler

  • CD Spotlight. Reformation Cantatas - Commemorating a historic anniversary, reviewed by Gerald Fenech. 'Superb performances, coupled with some excellent sound and scholarly annotations complete a disc brimming with historical appeal.'

  • Ensemble. A Surreal Atmosphere - Daniel Auber's 'Fra Diavolo' is back in Rome, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi

  • CD Spotlight. Elliptical Orbits - String quartets by British composers, heard by the late Howard Smith. '... the Kreutzer Quartet brings a faultless degree of unanimity and understanding to this selection of late twentieth century string music.'

  • Ensemble. Weak Videos - Szymanowski's 'Król Roger', reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi

  • CD Spotlight. Utmost Care - Gioacchino Rossini's 'Bianca e Falliero', heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Antonino Fogliani and his forces respond with zealous enthusiasm, and the ensemble pieces in particular are dispatched with marvelous excitement, soliciting in the listener a strong sense of involvement.'

  • Ensemble. Infinite Disappearances - An opera about the Italian theoretical physicist Ettore Majorana, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi

  • CD Spotlight. Bags of Fun - Music for flute and piano, heard by the late Howard Smith. '... eminently commendable.'

  • Ensemble. A Cruel 'Traviata' - Giuseppe Pennisi returns to the 2017 Verdi Festival

  • Ensemble. Grand Tableaux - 'Jérusalem' at the 2017 Verdi Festival, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi

  • CD Spotlight. Hypnotic Beauty - Giuseppe Verdi's 'Don Carlo', heard by Gerald Fenech. '... a performance full of dramatic passion and unbridled commitment that keeps the tension at fever-pitch throughout.'

  • CD Spotlight. Rewarding Music - Handel's 'Silla', enjoyed by Gerald Fenech. 'Fabio Biondi keeps things moving briskly, and his team responds with committed enthusiasm and minute precision to the demands of the score.'

  • CD Spotlight. Emotional Space - Piano miniatures by Tomasz Betka, heard by Keith Bramich. '... romantic, jazzy, simple, dreamy, dramatic, passionate, euphoric, sad and even Satiesque, by turns.'

  • CD Spotlight. Inner Brilliance - Music by Jean-Philippe Rameau, recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Rousset and his team give absolutely flawless performances, brimming with zestful enthusiasm and razor-sharp precision, and in such able hands how can Rameau's star not be one of the brightest in the baroque firmament?'

  • CD Spotlight. Truly Magical - Ravel at his very best, recommended by Geoff Pearce. 'The orchestral sound is sumptuous and detailed, and the solo vocalists are all first class.'

  • CD Spotlight. Heavenly Beauty - Choral music by Johann Simon Mayr excites Gerald Fenech. 'This world premiere recording is in every way exemplary ...'

  • CD Spotlight. Captivating Rhythms - Music for cello and piano, recommended by the late Howard Smith. 'Inspired programming, stellar performances and excellent recorded sound ...'

  • Ensemble. Concerts in Bucharest - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Russian orchestral music at the George Enescu Festival

  • Ensemble. Philosophy and Theology - Paul Hindemith's 'Mathis der Maler' at the Enescu Festival in Bucharest impresses Giuseppe Pennisi

  • CD Spotlight. Varied Indeed - Music for military band and chorus, enjoyed by Gerald Fenech. '... some great off-the-beaten track items that deserve to be heard more often.'

  • Ensemble. Impressive Unanimity - London Concertante's first visit to Derby Cathedral disappoints Mike Wheeler

  • CD Spotlight. Christ Recrucified - Bohuslav Martinu's 'The Greek Passion', heard by Paul Sarcich. '... the production is nothing less than workmanlike, rising in places to something more inspired ...'

  • Ensemble. Very Moving - A Roland Petit soirée at Opera di Roma, experienced by Giuseppe Pennisi

  • CD Spotlight. Impelling Drama - Arensky and Taneyev for violin and orchestra, heard by the late Howard Smith. '... Gringolts shows both purity of line and precise, mercurial bravura.'

  • CD Spotlight. Rising Stars - Dmitri Shostakovich's complete concertos, recommended by Geoff Pearce. '... unreservedly first class, not just for the technical prowess of the soloists and orchestra but also in the artistic vision of all involved.'

  • CD Spotlight. Violinistic Aggression - Herwig Zack, heard by the late Howard Smith. 'Others are more brilliant but few, if any, more powerful.'

  • CD Spotlight. A Master Orchestrator - Symphonic music by Hendrik Andriessen, enjoyed by Geoff Pearce. 'I am really impressed with the music and the performances on this disc ...'

  • CD Spotlight. Bring back Wieniawski! - Kelly Hall-Tompkins' violin recital, heard by the late Howard Smith. '... a sparkling account ...'

  • Ensemble. Real Emotions - Two concerts in Salzburg impress Giuseppe Pennisi

  • CD Spotlight. Material Traces - Very early music from Scandinavia, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... a highly innovative undertaking which may not be everybody's cup of tea, but for those who have a flair for adventure this programme will definitely enthrall.'

  • CD Spotlight. Worthy of Brahms - Chamber music by Marteau and Zemlinsky, enjoyed by Geoff Pearce. '... never boring, but full blooded and passionate. All the players have complex passages and are equal partners.'

  • CD Spotlight. Famous and Unknown - Music by Rameau, Philidor, Blavet, Guignon and Duphly, enjoyed by Gerald Fenech. '... an intensity and sweetness of tone that is consistently engaging.'

  • CD Spotlight. Standout Performances - Donizetti's 'Rosmonda d'Inghilterra', strongly recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... Sebastiano Rolli keeps things ticking over nicely, thus never diminishing the boiling undercurrents that continually simmer in the protagonists' spirits.'

  • CD Spotlight. Dramatically Nuanced - Rossini's 'Sigismondo', heard by Gerald Fenech. '... an excellent live recording of a rare bel canto gem that deserves serious scrutiny by all those interested in Italian melodrama.'

  • Ensemble. The Humanity of Wozzeck - Alban Berg from Salzburg, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi

  • Ensemble. Sex and Violence in Salzburg - Giuseppe Pennisi reports on Shostakovich's 'Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District'

  • Ensemble. A Baroque Fight for Love and Power - Handel's 'Ariodante' at Salzburg, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi

  • Ensemble. The Panoply of Power - Aribert Reimann's 'Lear' at Salzburg, experienced by Giuseppe Pennisi

  • Historical Spread - Michael Overbury's Derby Cathedral organ recital impresses Mike Wheeler

  • CD Spotlight. Specially Reconstructed - Music for ancient giant horns, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... for those who wallow in the joys of past cultural mysteries and their unraveling, this issue is a must.'

  • CD Spotlight. Programmatic Intentions - Karl Goldmark's Rustic Wedding Symphony, heard by Stephen Francis Vasta. 'Conductor Frank Beermann displays a nice feel for the sonorities: the overture's slow introduction is nicely layered, and clear textures render the lyric passages even more fetching.'

  • CD Spotlight. Precious Testimony - Historic Bruckner, recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... Furtwängler transforms the music into a cosmic glow that lightens the very depths of one's spirit.'

  • CD Spotlight. Deeply Felt - New music for piano and Chinese folk instruments, enjoyed by Geoff Pearce. '... quietly expansive and evocative ...'

  • CD Spotlight. Telling Clarity - Telemann concertos impress Gerald Fenech. '... in the Berliners' hands Telemann's music sounds even more trailblazing than maybe the composer intended.'

  • Refreshingly Unusual - David Davies plays the organ of Derby Cathedral, reviewed by Mike Wheeler

  • Ensemble. Opera Philology - Rossini's 'Torvaldo e Dorliska', reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi

  • Ensemble. High Society Two Centuries Ago - Giuseppe Pennisi comments on Rossini's 'La Pietra di Paragone' in Pesaro

  • Ensemble. Third Time Lucky - Giuseppe Pennisi reports on the first performance of the original version of Rossini's 'Siege of Corinth'

  • Ensemble. Psychoanalysis and 'Turandot' - Giuseppe Pennisi reports from the Macerata Opera Festival

  • A Welcome Return - Jennifer Bate plays the Derby Cathedral organ, heard by Mike Wheeler

  • Ensemble. What It Means To Be Human - Maria Nockin listens to orchestral music on the shores of Lake Tahoe

  • CD Spotlight. Puckish Effervesence - A piano recital by Stephen Hough, heard by the late Howard Smith. '... music from the sublime to the Antipodean.'

  • CD Spotlight. Brilliantly Performed - Mozart chamber music, highly recommended by Geoff Pearce. 'One cannot fault the playing on this lovely disc ...'

  • CD Spotlight. Persuasive Fluency - Music for flute, played by Samantha Chang, heard by the late Howard Smith. '... captivating performances ...'

  • Ensemble. Updating Tosca - Giuseppe Pennisi reports from Teatro dell'Opera di Roma

  • CD Spotlight. Highly Stirring - Vadim Gluzman plays Brahms, heard by Lucas Ball. 'Gluzman and Yoffe are at their most energetic and communicative.'

  • Ensemble. Typically Thoughtful - Paul Lewis at the Buxton Festival, heard by Mike Wheeler

  • Ensemble. Piquancy and Elegance - A recital by Claire Wickes and Tomos Xerri, heard by Mike Wheeler

  • Ensemble. Very Human - Carlo Boccadoro's chamber opera 'Shi', based on Matteo Ricci's Jesuit mission in China, impresses Giuseppe Pennisi

  • Punk Transformed? - Keith Bramich has lunch with Torsten Rasch, Roderic Dunnett and others, at the Three Choirs Festival

  • Altogether Invigorating - Gabriele Baldocci's Kabalevsky and Beethoven/Liszt at the BPSE Summer Festival impress Malcolm Miller

  • Ensemble. Emotional Extremes - Wagner, Duparc, Cecilia McDowall and Poulenc from Rachel Nicholls and Paul Plummer, reviewed by Mike Wheeler

  • Ensemble. A bitter-sweet 'Swallow' - 'La Rondine' at the Puccini Opera Festival impresses Giuseppe Pennisi

  • Ensemble. Piquant Contrast - Mike Wheeler listens to Schulhoff and Tchaikovsky from members of the Fibonacci Sequence

  • CD Spotlight. A Relative Newcomer - Temirzhan Yerzhanov plays Prokofiev, heard by the late Howard Smith. '... idiosyncratic, superbly delineated invention and precise harmonic intuition.'

  • Ensemble. A Free-flowing Style - Mike Wheeler experiences the first professional opera specifically commissioned in Welsh

  • Ensemble. Asking Better Questions? - Schubert, Barber, Beethoven and Shostakovich from the Brodsky Quartet, heard by Mike Wheeler

  • Ensemble. A Keen Interest - A new 'Turandot' at the Puccini Festival, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi

  • Ensemble. On the Verge of Greatness - Mozart's 'Lucio Silla' at Buxton, heard by Mike Wheeler

  • Ensemble. A Renewed International Chigiana Prize - Giuseppe Pennisi was in Siena for the Chigiana Award concert

  • Ensemble. Social Comedy - Britten's 'Albert Herring' at the Buxton Festival, reviewed by Mike Wheeler

  • Ensemble. Grippingly Staged - Verdi's 'Macbeth' at the Buxton Festival, reviewed by Mike Wheeler

  • Ask Alice - Classical Music Agony Aunt Alice McVeigh tries out her new electric cello

  • CD Spotlight. American Flavours - Orchestral music by Aaron Copland impresses Gerald Fenech. 'Splendidly rousing playing from the Detroiters mercurially led by Leonard Slatkin, whose dedication to Copland's creations has a sense of purpose that is unerring throughout.'

  • CD Spotlight. Absolutely Superb - Choral music by Jan Jirásek, recommended by Geoff Pearce. 'There are some absolutely ravishing vocal passages, and I can't say I have ever heard music quite like this before.'

  • CD Spotlight. A Treasure Trove - Music for Palaeolithic bone flutes fascinates Gerald Fenech. '... the oldest evidence of musical creation anywhere in the world.'

  • Ensemble. Sensual and Immoral - A new production of 'Carmen' stirs a mini-International Controversy, by Giuseppe Pennisi

  • Ensemble. Britten and Owen - A double bill from Sinfonia Viva and The Lost Boys, reviewed by Mike Wheeler

  • CD Spotlight. Demons or Angels? - Death and the Maiden for orchestra, heard by the late Howard Smith. '... Falletta and her Buffalo team cannot be faulted ...'

  • Ensemble. 1917 and Dante's 'Divine Comedy' - Giuseppe Pennisi samples the two themes at this summer's Ravenna Festival

  • CD Spotlight. The Bad Boy of Music? - Orchestral music by George Antheil, enjoyed by Gerald Fenech. 'Karl-Heinz Steffens and his German troops are passionate advocates of Antheil's cause, and performances are full of engaging expressiveness and technical finesse.'

  • Ensemble. Sex and Blood in Jerusalem - Giuseppe Pennisi reports on the new production of 'Salome' in Leipzig

  • CD Spotlight. Quite Haunting - American orchestral music impresses Geoff Pearce. '... impassioned and committed performances.'

  • Ensemble. Women's Voices - 'Die Frau ohne Schatten' at the Strauss Festival in Leipzig, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi

  • A Sure Hand - Beate Toyka plays Schubert's last piano sonata, reviewed by Mike Wheeler

  • Ensemble. A Bitter-sweet Lyric Comedy - 'Arabella' from Festival Strauss in Leipzig, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi

  • CD Spotlight. Superb Compositions - Chamber sonatas by Giovanni Stefano Carbonelli, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Performances abound in real vitality, rhythmic verve and dramatic engagement, and Carbonelli's genius is allowed to shine in all its exuberance.'

  • CD Spotlight. Colourful Palette - Villa-Lobos symphonies, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'The São Paulo players respond with joyous enthusiasm to the rhythmic vitality and ingenious orchestration of these scores ...'

  • Ensemble. Heavy Stage Direction and Sets - Rossini's 'Il viaggio a Reims' in Rome, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi

  • CD Spotlight. Anything and Everything - Mainstreet Brass, enjoyed by the late Howard Smith. 'An exhilirating brass ensemble in a theatrical range of moods; you really can't go wrong.'

  • CD Spotlight. Uniquely Peculiar - French music for brass and piano, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Careful attention to the music's slightest details means the interpretive aspect is consistently special and charismatic.'

  • CD Spotlight. What treasures! - British music for flute and piano, enjoyed by the late Howard Smith. 'Smith and Rhodes present definitive, warmly recorded performances of this gorgeous, all-UK repertory, some of it apparently on disc for the first time.'

  • Ensemble. Rigoletto on the Beach - Verdi in Sardinia, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi

  • CD Spotlight. A Unique Cycle - Piano music by Nikolai Peyko, recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Performances are highly virtuosic and wholly committed, and both pianists know exactly how to convey the overriding shape with discernment and piquancy.'

  • CD Spotlight. Playful Counterpoint - Telemann in the French style, heard by the late Howard Smith. 'The distinguished musicians of the Hanoverian Ensemble display a characteristic eighteenth century affinity of expression that Telemann's urbane work requires.'

  • CD Spotlight. Another Gem - New music for choir and ancient instruments, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... this musical melting pot has some unexpected tastes, and surprising delights abound from beginning to end.'

  • CD Spotlight. Powerful Music - Symphonies by László Lajtha, recommended by Geoff Pearce. 'The fine Pécs Symphony Orchestra responds well to the direction of Nicolás Pasquet.'

  • CD Spotlight. Winds of Change - Edward Gardner conducts Elgar, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Edward Gardner gives revelatory accounts of both works, always keeping in check the emotional element, but when the occasion warrants, he lets the music sweep us off our feet.'

  • CD Spotlight. Hard to Beat - Clara Rodriguez plays Moisés Moleiro, heard by the late Howard Smith. '... dazzling, undemanding musical enjoyment ...'

  • CD Spotlight. Utter Conviction - Antonín Dvorák's 'The Spectre's Bride', welcomed by Gerald Fenech. 'Meister and his Vienna forces capture the eerie atmosphere of the story with chilling effect, and his consistent attention to detail allows the soloists free reign to bring out all the expressiveness of the characters.'

  • Ensemble. Admirably Clear - Elgar, Grieg and Walton from soloists, Nottingham Harmonic Choir, Rory Macdonald and the Hallé Orchestra, reviewed by Mike Wheeler

  • CD Spotlight. Many Similarities - Orchestral music by George Antheil, heard by Geoff Pearce. '... the performances are committed and of high quality from all concerned, and the Chandos sound is sumptuous.'

  • Ensemble. A Mirror of Time - Giuseppe Pennisi reports on a trendy concert series in Rome

  • DVD Spotlight. Exhilarating Mozart - 'La Finta Giardiniera' from Opéra de Lille, reviewed by Gerald Fenech. '... a humdinger of a version, passionately sung and acted and superbly conducted by Emmanuelle Haim.'

  • CD Spotlight. Flair and Musicianship - Short cello works by Bohuslav Martinu, heard by Paul Sarcich. '... small storms should be taken in small doses.'

  • CD Spotlight. A Versatile Composer - Music by Geoffrey Hanson, recommended by Geoff Pearce. 'Performances are superb and everyone is a standout.'

  • CD Spotlight. Choral Masterpieces - Antonín Dvorák's Mass in D and Te Deum, warmly recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Performances are first rate, and Antoni Wit and his forces respond with eloquence and characteristically immaculate singing ...'

  • CD Spotlight. Tripping Along - Cantatas by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, heard by Roderic Dunnett. 'The tenor's aria ... with gorgeous Thuringian strings, emerges as a reverential movement.'

  • Ensemble. A Joy to Hear - Richard Strauss' 'Der Rosenkavalier', the last of this season's Live in HD broadcasts from New York Metropolitan Opera, impresses Maria Nockin

  • Ensemble. Tender and Engrossing - Benjamin Britten's 'Peter Grimes' in Bologna impresses Giuseppe Pennisi

  • Ensemble. A Neat Bit of Programming - Khachaturian, Rachmaninov, Musorgsky and Shostakovich from Freddy Kempf, the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra and Yuri Simonov, heard by Mike Wheeler

  • CD Spotlight. Joyous Occasions - Music by members of the Strauss family delights Gerald Fenech. 'A thoroughly stimulating issue, dashingly performed by Estonian forces conducted by the veteran Neeme Järvi ...'

  • Ensemble. Well-deserved Ovations - 'Lulu' lands in Rome after fifty years, by Giuseppe Pennisi

  • CD Spotlight. Fine Indeed - Rikke Sandberg plays Rachmaninov, heard by the late Howard Smith. '... most clearly true to the spirit of the music ...'

  • Ensemble. High Ambitions - Michael Landes was at the American Protégé Winners' recital on 14 May 2017 in Carnegie Hall

  • CD Spotlight. Stylistic Evolution - Béla Bartók's six string quartets, highly recommended by Gerald Fenech

  • CD Spotlight. Unmistakably Russian - Music by Alexander Feht impressed the late Howard Smith. 'There can be few, if any, Russian songs of equal calibre fashioned in the Colorado Rockies.'

  • Ensemble. Visions of Human Suffering - Lyric Verdi, and a great success, but in some ways a 'Don Carlo' of losers at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, impresses Giuseppe Pennisi

  • CD Spotlight. A Superb Account - Tchaikovsky for violin and orchestra, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'The young and celebrated Korean virtuoso Moonkyung Lee is fast making a name for herself on both sides of the Atlantic, and these performances confirm all the wonderful reviews that are being written about her.'

  • Ensemble. Zip and Enthusiasm - Members of the Kanneh-Mason family playing at the Belper Arts Festival, heard by Mike Wheeler

  • Ensemble. Brilliantly Invigorating - Mike Wheeler listens to the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

  • Ensemble. Civil Engagement - Giuseppe Pennisi discusses operas representing intrigues which couldn't be discussed in public

  • Ensemble. Splendidly Lucid - Elgar, Weber, Tchaikovsky and more from Julian Bliss, Mark Elder and the Hallé Orchestra, reported by Mike Wheeler

  • Ensemble. Authentic Performance - Tchaikovsky's 'Eugene Onegin' in HD from New York Metropolitan Opera, enjoyed by Maria Nockin

  • CD Spotlight. Sheer Beauty - Dvorák serenades, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Performances by the Czech Nonet ... and the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields conducted by Neville Marriner ... are exemplary, and all the colourful harmonies and exuberant rhythms are brought out with a virtuosity that is quite unmatchable.'

  • CD Spotlight. Respectable Performances - Brahms' Hungarian Dances, heard by the late Howard Smith. 'Kantorski and Pope ... are treading on thin ice ...'

  • CD Spotlight. Absolutely Enthralling - Music for brass and organ, strongly recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Barbara Bruns and the Thompson Brass Ensemble give dazzling performances full of compelling virtuosity and brilliantly executed musical stunts that never fail to surprise ...'

  • CD Spotlight. Splice the Mainbrace - Red Priest's 'Pirates of the Baroque', heard by the late Howard Smith. 'The foursome are outrageous, hugely entertaining, and Red Priest take no prisoners.'

  • Ensemble. Full-blooded Performance - Mendelssohn's 'Elijah' from Derby Choral Union and Richard Dacey, heard by Mike Wheeler

  • Ensemble. Unjustly Neglected - In this specially extended feature, Armstrong Gibbs' re-discovered 'Passion according to St Luke' impresses Roderic Dunnett

  • CD Spotlight. Wonderful Advocates - Hindemith's complete string quartets, highly recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... each rendition is an endless source of pleasure, where precision and attention to detail are the consistent hallmarks of some breathtaking music-making.'

  • Ensemble. Something Rich and Strange - Mozart, Shostakovich and Beethoven from the Coull Quartet impress Mike Wheeler

  • Ensemble. A Lovely Evening - William Walton's 'Façade' in Rome, alongside a symphony by Alfredo Casella, appreciated by Giuseppe Pennisi

  • CD Spotlight. Subdued Poise - Panayiotis Demopoulos plays Liszt, Beethoven and Demopoulos, heard by the late Howard Smith. '... adroitly articulated and intelligently moulded: a study in progress.'

  • CD Spotlight. Fascinating and Absorbing - Piano music by Heinz Tiessen fascinates Gerald Fenech. 'Matthew Rubinstein is a red-hot advocate of Tiessen's works, and his interpretations brim with a passionate dedication that lays bare the inner gestures of this music.'

  • Ensemble. Back in Rome - Giordano's 'Andrea Chénier' returns to the Teatro dell'Opera after more than forty years, impressing Giuseppe Pennisi

  • CD Spotlight. A Winning Disc - Romantic music for piano four hands impressed the late Howard Smith. '... Buccheri and Boldrey convey the demanding score with spellbinding assurance.'

  • Ensemble. Rock-solid Technique - Victoria, Gesualdo, Schütz, J S Bach, Poulenc and Knut Nystedt from cellist Deirdre Bencsik and the Derwent Singers impresses Mike Wheeler

  • CD Spotlight. Broad and Profound - Philip Higham plays J S Bach's cello suites, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'The soloist's wise and daring approach also leads him to combine elements of period and modern style both in his playing and in his choice of instruments ...'

  • CD Spotlight. Truly Memorable - Carnival music for piano, recommended by the late Howard Smith. 'Goldstone unravels Schumann's variegated vignettes with outstanding technical precision and startling intellectual probity ...'

  • CD Spotlight. Mysterious Forces - Choral and orchestral music by Bronius Kutavicius, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... a dramatic portrayal of the interaction of human activity and natural forces.'

  • CD Spotlight. Scrumptious Outbursts - Orchestral music by Jaromír Weinberger, enjoyed by Roderic Dunnett. '... full of rich colours from the Berlin Orchestra under Albrecht's direction ...'

  • Ensemble. A Great Success - Antonio Pappano's St John Passion impresses Giuseppe Pennisi

  • CD Spotlight. A Mystic Island - Arvo Pärt's 'Canon of Repentance', recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... Daniel Reuss and Cappella Amsterdam more than do justice to the distilled purity and sublime beauty of this work.'

  • Ensemble. Exuberant Performance - J S Bach choral music impresses Mike Wheeler

  • Ensemble. A Rare Treat - Mozart, Duncan Ward and Poulenc wind chamber music, enjoyed by Mike Wheeler

  • Ensemble. Extreme Tensions - Richard Strauss' 'Elektra', back in Naples, impresses Giuseppe Pennisi

  • Ensemble. Emotional Complexities - Alexei Grynyuk plays Scarlatti, Chopin, Rachmaninov and Schubert, reviewed by Mike Wheeler

  • Ensemble. An Outstanding Example - Co-operation between the Sitwell Singers and Derby Chamber Music, featuring music by John Tavener, Bruckner and Beethoven, impresses Mike Wheeler

  • Ensemble. A Duel of Voices - Donizetti's 'Maria Stuarda' in Rome, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi

  • Ensemble. What was the Problem? - John Fulljames' visually engaging production of Rimsky-Korsakov's 'The Snow Maiden' at Opera North, reviewed by Mike Wheeler

  • Ensemble. Unexpectedly Long - Mozart's 'Idomeneo' in HD from New York Metropolitan Opera, enjoyed by Maria Nockin

  • Ensemble. Dynamic Performances - Vladimir Jurowski conducts Zemlinsky and Mahler, appreciated by Giuseppe Pennisi

  • CD Spotlight. Nostalgic or Prophetic? - Sergei Rachmaninov's Symphony No 2 and 'Vocalise', heard by Lucas Ball. '... there is a great sense of direction in this recording.'

  • Ensemble. Fun and Games - Mike Wheeler enjoys Opera North's take on Rossini's 'La Cenerentola'

  • Ensemble. Sing ye to the Law - Jabez Hogsbarrow reports from the London International Contemporary Composers' Conference

  • Ensemble. Great Stage Presence - Lucas Ball reviews a production that emphasises The Magic Flute's fun elements

  • CD Spotlight. Assertive Performances - 'Symphonia Domestica' and 'Metamorphosen', excite Gerald Fenech. '... full of charismatic flair and detailed, luscious sound that give these challenging pieces a glow of brilliance.'

  • Ensemble. Engagingly Clear-eyed - Mahler, Mendelssohn and Vaughan Williams from Derby Concert Orchestra, reviewed by Mike Wheeler

  • Ensemble. Tremendous Justice - Brahms' German Requiem and Dvorák's Slavonic Dances from Peter Nardone and the Worcester Festival Choral Society, reviewed by Lucas Ball

  • CD Spotlight. Beautiful Tone - Glazunov and Taneyev String Quintets, enjoyed by Stephen Francis Vasta. '... the Gringolts ensemble plays expertly, projecting the music's sense of "symphonic" weight and importance while maintaining the vivid interplay among the parts.'

  • CD Spotlight. Symphony of Pauses - Anton Bruckner's Second Symphony impresses Gerald Fenech. '... Bolton's interpretation is wonderfully paced, and his careful attention to detail allows all of the composer's thick orchestration to reveal its many touches of genius that give the score its grandeur and natural beauty.'

  • Ensemble. Lost in its own Forest - Engelbert Humperdinck's 'Hansel and Gretel' at Opera North, reviewed by Mike Wheeler

  • CD Spotlight. Unorthodox Fusion - Tango choral works by Martín Palmeri, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... sacred and profane are skillfully enmeshed with wonderfully successful results.'

  • CD Spotlight. Extended Discourse - Banjo music by Mark Sylvester, heard by the late Howard Smith. '... finally, I found myself caught up by Sylvester's engagingly complex work.'

  • Ensemble. 1917 - A Different Revolutionary Music - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Yuri Bashmet and his Moscow Soloists ensemble

  • Ensemble. Invincible Physical Barriers - Willy Decker's production of Giuseppe Verdi's 'La traviata' in HD from New York Metropolitan Opera, reviewed by Maria Nockin

  • CD Spotlight. Delicate and Slender - Handel's 'Messiah', recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'A new experience of a work we have heard so many times.'

  • CD Spotlight. Masterly Fusion - Tchaikovsky's music for violin and orchestra impresses Gerald Fenech. 'The American violinist Jennifer Koh interprets these testing pieces with dazzling virtuosity and passionate exuberance, and the Violin Concerto in particular is one of the most exciting renditions I have heard in recent times.'

  • CD Spotlight. A Strange Affair - Ulrich Heinen plays Bach and twentieth century composers, heard by the late Howard Smith. 'This snappy title with its hints of España and whimsical echoes of theatre is nailed to perfection by Heinen, as are all five modern works within the programme.'

  • Ask Alice - Classical Music Agony Aunt Alice McVeigh gives Bromley Symphony Orchestra's Mahler/Schumann concert a plug

  • CD Spotlight. Brilliantly Performed - Music by Halvorsen, Nielsen and Svendsen impresses Gerald Fenech. 'Henning Kraggerud's technical brilliance lends a balanced fluidity to all three works, and each is allowed to betray all the enterprising orchestral colours hidden within each score.'

  • CD Spotlight. Shimmering Arrangement - A Richard Strauss first recording, enjoyed by Gerald Fenech. 'JoAnn Falletta and her Buffalo team regale the listener with admirably detailed performances full of watchful sensitivity to the many magical melodies that are encrusted in this score.'

  • CD Spotlight. Innate Musicality - The Eight Seasons of Vivaldi and Piazzolla, recommended by Giuseppe Pennisi. '... Yury Revich is a superb soloist, a real virtuoso with tremendous imagination and a splendid use of his instrument.'

  • CD Spotlight. Vintage Handel - The pastiche 'Catone', recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Carlo Ipata and his masterful band of singers and instrumentalists give a most persuasive and fascinating performance capturing all the nuances of the score with impressive conviction and verbal dexterity.'

  • CD Spotlight. A Precocious Gift - Orchestral music by Enrique Soro, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'The composer's melodic instinct, mastery of orchestration and sense of form are evident throughout ...'

  • Ensemble. Most Impressive - Mozart, Enescu, Stravinsky and Brahms from Savitri Grier and Richard Uttley, heard by Mike Wheeler

  • CD Spotlight. Celebrity Bass - Music for strings by Domenico Dragonetti, heard by the late Howard Smith. 'John Feeney reveals double bass capabilities required of a symphony orchestra's lowest strings once in a blue moon.'

  • CD Spotlight. Public Taste - Madrigals from Monteverdi's Venice period, highly recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Paul Agnew and his famous choristers give highly exciting performances, with every poetic nuance exploited to maximum musical effect.'

  • Ensemble. A Thrilling Ride - Mozart, Beethoven and Sibelius from Angela Hewitt, Yutaka Sado and the Vienna Tonkünstler Orchestra, reviewed by Mike Wheeler

  • CD Spotlight. Sparkling Brilliance - Gergiev conducts Tchaikovsky's 'Nutcracker', enjoyed by Gerald Fenech. '... he delivers the big moments with overwhelming power.'

  • Ensemble. A Fine Film - San Francisco Opera's 2008 film of Puccini's 'La bohème', reviewed by Maria Nockin

  • CD Spotlight. Genuine Appreciation - Piano music by Richard Fowles in homage to Erik Satie, appreciated by Paul Sarcich. 'Christina McMaster is fully sensitive to the spirit of the enterprise ...'

  • CD Spotlight. Perfectly Delightful - Margo Guryan's 'Chopsticks Variations', enthusiastically recommended by the late Howard Smith. 'Ideal for family fun/enjoyment, for all young music students and for elementary level pianists in particular.'

  • Ensemble. Well Thought Out - Dvorák's 'Rusalka' in HD from New York Metropolitan Opera, enjoyed in the cinema by Maria Nockin

  • CD Spotlight. Beautifully Presented - Vocal music by Vincent Persichetti, enjoyed by Geoff Pearce. 'Both singers are fine and expressive, accurately expressing the emotional content of each song.'

  • Ensemble. Sex, Blood and Power - Tchaikovsky's 'The Enchantress', reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi

  • CD Spotlight. A Beautiful Issue - Art songs by Franz Liszt, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Benjamin Brecher's sensitive performances are full of dramatic nuances and range of colour ...'

  • Ask Alice - Classical Music Agony Aunt Alice McVeigh visits Covent Garden for Francesco Cilea's 'Adriana Lecouvreur'

  • Ensemble. Listening with Fresh Ears - A little-known version of the 'Italian Symphony' plus other music by Mendelssohn and Berlioz, from Sarah Connolly, Kati Debretzeni and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, intrigues Malcolm Miller

  • Nicely Unusual - Ingrid Jacoby plays Ponce, Fauré, Debussy and Musorgsky, and impresses Mike Wheeler

  • CD Spotlight. Sumptuous Beauty - Choral music by Pierre de Manchicourt, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'David Shuler and his choristers deliver performances of outstanding clarity and precision ...'

  • Ensemble. Tenderness and Hatred - Janácek's 'Kát'a Kabanová' in Turin impresses Giuseppe Pennisi

  • Ensemble. Dancing Vigour - Percussionists Owen Gunnell and Oliver Cox, appreciated by Mike Wheeler

  • Ensemble. A Cause for Celebration - 'Mechanical Advantage', Sinfonia Viva's latest Schools Residency, described by Mike Wheeler

  • Ensemble. The Mercy of God - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Robert Schumann's oratorio 'Das Paradies und die Peri'

  • Ensemble. Reviving Rossini's Tancredi - Margaret Darby reports from Opera Philadelphia

  • CD Spotlight. Totally Compelling - Schoenberg's arrangements of Mahler songs impress Geoff Pearce. '... I found this version very interesting and overall, more intimate ...'

  • Ensemble. An Attractive Sound-world - Mike Wheeler listens to the Thorne Trio

  • Ensemble. Inner Struggle - Giuseppe Pennisi watches and listens to Tchaikovsky's 'Sleeping Beauty'

  • CD Spotlight. Gorgeously Irresistible - Piano quintets by Granados and Turina, strongly recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... an almost instinctive sense of interplay between the players ...'

  • Elegantly Presented - Mike Wheeler listens to pianist Ji Liu

  • CD Spotlight. Unfaltering Artistry - Contemporary music for solo violin, heard by the late Howard Smith. 'Koh is magnificent in this devilish smorgasbord of chords, harmonics and subdued left hand pizzicato interjections ...'

  • CD Spotlight. Musical Extremities - Works by Schoenberg and Portera, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Performances are satisfyingly macabre in Schoenberg's work, while Portera's piece is given a well-rounded and detailed interpretation.'

  • Ensemble. Full of Irony - Giuseppe Pennisi experiences a different 'Sleeping Beauty', Ottorino Respighi's 'La Bella Addormentata nel Bosco', at the Lyric Theatre in Cagliari

  • CD Spotlight. Well-crafted Gems - Chinese and American art song, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'Juliet Petrus has a very fine voice and whose vocal timbre really sits well with these songs ...'

  • Ensemble. Irridescent Colours - Copland, Ravel and Gershwin from Steven Osborne, the Hallé Orchestra and Louis Langrée, heard by Mike Wheeler

  • CD Spotlight. Vivid Elegance - Piano music by Guy Ropartz, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... Stephanie McCallum simply floats her way through this music with subtlety and panache that fit Ropartz's harmonic language to perfection ...'

  • CD Spotlight. Well Worth Exploring - Music by Marshall, Bryars and Pärt, heard by the late Howard Smith. '... refreshing immediacy and striking originality ...'

  • Ensemble. Tannhäuser in the Dark - Giuseppe Pennisi visits Venice, one of Richard Wagner's favourite cities

  • Ensemble. A Spectacular Show - Charles Gounod's 'Romeo and Juliet' live in high definition from New York Metropolitan Opera impresses Maria Nockin

  • CD Spotlight. Dynamic Vigour - Orchestral music by Alexander Glazunov, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... disciplined, philosophical and electric interpretations ...'

  • Ensemble. Sex and Power - Verdi's 'Macbeth' in Palermo, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi

  • Ensemble. Harmonious in Every Sense - Alice McVeigh explains why 'Der Rosenkavalier' at Covent Garden couldn't have been bettered in any department

  • CD Spotlight. Moods and Textures - Dvorák's Slavonic Dances played by the Czech Philharmonic, recommended by Geoff Pearce. 'There is balance and lightness here, not achieved by many other orchestras.'

  • Ensemble. Terrific Movement and Zip - Opera Warwick's 'Die Fledermaus', reviewed by Roderic Dunnett

  • CD Spotlight. Consistently Vibrant - Prokofiev's Symphonies Nos 4 and 7, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Andrew Litton and his Bergen ensemble deliver some forceful performances full of exciting vigour ...'

  • Ensemble. A Controversial Così - Giuseppe Pennisi was in the audience at Teatro dell'Opera di Roma

  • Ensemble. Compellingly Memorable - Schubert and Liszt from Ian Tindale and Nick Pritchard impress Mike Wheeler

  • CD Spotlight. Ravishingly Beautiful - Karl Jenkins' Cantata Memoria, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... a deeply moving experience ...'

  • Ask Alice - Classical Music Agony Aunt Alice McVeigh on the Women's March in protest of Donald Trump

  • Ensemble. Genuinely Hard-won - Mike Wheeler listens to Nicholas Collon and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra playing Shostakovich's Eighth Symphony, preceded by Stephen Johnson's illustrated introduction

  • CD Spotlight. A Foregone Conclusion - Angela East on the rocks, heard by the late Howard Smith. '... she clearly gives serious, if misguided attention, to matters of baroque scholarship.'

  • Ensemble. A Great Revival - Leonardo Vinci and Pietro Metastasio's 'Didone Abbandonata', reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi

  • Ensemble. A Choral Opera - Verdi's 'Nabucco' in HD from New York Metropolitan Opera, reviewed by Maria Nockin

  • Ensemble. A Stunning Display - Mike Wheeler is impressed by the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain playing Lauren Marshall, Brett Dean, Szymanowski and Rachmaninov

  • CD Spotlight. Many Fine Things - Mariss Jansons conducts Prokofiev, heard by Stephen Francis Vasta. '... round and solidly grounded ...'

  • CD Spotlight. Translucent Sound - Harp music from Xavier de Maistre, appreciated by Gerald Fenech. 'Performances are lusciously executed, and both soloist and orchestra are in perfect harmony ...'

  • CD Spotlight. Completely Unknown - Violin and piano music by René de Boisdeffre, heard by Paul Sarcich. 'To describe Boisdeffre as "worthy but dull" would be doing him a disservice ...'

  • Ensemble. Two Bats - 'Die Fledermaus' on Twelfth Night, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi

  • CD Spotlight. Vigorously Interpreted - Butterworth, Gurney and Warlock, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... the programme embraces all that is best of English song-writing in the initial phases of the twentieth century ...'

  • CD Spotlight. Religious Allegory - Jonathan Sheffer's 'The Conference of the Birds', heard by Ron Bierman. 'Recommended for its colorful, often striking orchestral effects.'

  • Ask Alice - Classical Music Agony Aunt Alice McVeigh says goodbye to her friend Janine

  • CD Spotlight. Masterly Throughout - Erik Chisholm's opera 'Simoon', heard by Gerald Fenech. '... Chisholm rises to the occasion with some spectacular music ...'

  • CD Spotlight. An Absolute Delight - Svjatoslav Richter plays Mussorgsky and Tchaikovsky, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'Remind yourself that these are live recordings from 1954-60 and you will enjoy this disc.'

  • CD Spotlight. Vagaries of Love - Baroque music from Dominique Labelle and Musica Pacifica stimulates Gerald Fenech. 'A beautiful issue that is as heartwarming as it is stimulating.'

  • Ensemble. A New Year's Eve with 'Die Fledermaus' - Giuseppe Pennisi reports from Rome

 

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