Music and Vision homepage 'Elgar and Chivalry' by Robert Anderson - available now from Elgar.org

 

CONTENTS

Articles are shown in chronological order of publication, with the most recent first:

  • CD Spotlight. A Unique Snapshot - French music for Christmas, sung in Oxford by a Cambridge choir, heard by Keith Bramich. '... Christmas music, much of it well-known in Britain, sung in French in various original and unusual versions ...'

  • CD Spotlight. Highly Unusual - Music by Toivo Tulev, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'The highlight of this recording is undoubtedly the 2013 Magnificat in which Tulev courageously departs from the text's traditional solemn setting and creates a sound world of immense originality by means of stratospherically high string writing and wild percussion solos.'

  • CD Spotlight. New and Unusual - Winter and Christmas music from Papagena, enjoyed by Keith Bramich. 'Everything sounds fresh ...'

  • Ensemble. Strong and Intense - Giuseppe Verdi's 'Attila', opening La Scala's 2018-19 season, enthralls Giuseppe Pennisi

  • CD Spotlight. In the Loft - The Chicago music scene in 2007, heard by the late Howard Smith. 'With chamber music writing of this calibre American audiences can rest assured; their future is in more than capable hands.'

  • Ensemble. Properly Exultant - Bach's 'Christmas Oratorio' in Derby Cathedral, enjoyed by Mike Wheeler

  • Ensemble. Something Really Special - Bliss, Elgar and Vaughan Williams from Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Elizabeth Watts, Martyn Brabbins and the BBC Symphony Orchestra, heard by Mike Wheeler

  • Ensemble. Rigoletto and the Fascists - Giuseppe Pennisi was at the opening night of Teatro dell'Opera di Roma's new season

  • Music in Kentish Town - Endre Anaru looks forward to an orchestral concert in London later this week featuring the first performance of a new Canadian violin concerto

  • CD Spotlight. Technical Mastery - Yevgeny Sudbin plays Rachmaninov, heard by Lucas Ball. '... most of the time, what Sudbin does with these fiendishly difficult works is hard to criticise.'

  • Ensemble. Thrilling Singing - Alec Roth, Tallis, Striggio and Gabriel Jackson from Ex Cathedra, conducted by Jeffrey Skidmore, heard by Mike Wheeler

  • Ensemble. Verdi in Ravenna - An Autumn trilogy of operas, attended by Giuseppe Pennisi

  • Ensemble. The Homely and the Cosmic - Two concerts from Nicholas Kok and Sinfonia Viva, enjoyed by Mike Wheeler

  • Ensemble. An Enthralling Production - György Kurtág's 'Fin de Partie' impresses Giuseppe Pennisi

  • CD Spotlight. A Modernist Aesthetic - Hans Rosbaud conducts Tchaikovsky, heard by Stephen Francis Vasta. '... for veteran Tchaikovsky devotees, ... interesting listening.'

  • Big-boned Works - Mike Wheeler listens to Hong Kong-born pianist Rachel Cheung playing Franck, Schumann and Liszt

  • CD Spotlight. Imaginative Undertaking - Four composers' humoresques impress Gerald Fenech. 'The approach of the young yet precocious Russian pianist Daria Rabotkina reveals an acquaintance full of affection and warmth ...'

  • Ensemble. Dignity and Restraint - Derby Choral Union's Armistice centenary concert, heard by Mike Wheeler

  • CD Spotlight. Not an Obvious Connection - Debussy and Jazz, heard by Paul Sarcich. 'For those with wide enough ears it will be an attractive and thought-provoking listen.'

  • A Conscious Tribute - Mike Wheeler praises the remarkably find muscianship of pianist Dominic Degavino

  • Ensemble. A 'Happy' Tragedy - Leonard Bernstein's 'Trouble in Tahiti' at Rome's Nuova Consonanza Festival, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi

  • Ensemble. Occupational Hazards - Opera North's staging of Franz Lehár's 'The Merry Widow', reviewed by Mike Wheeler

  • Ensemble. Intelligence and Beauty of Tone - Maria Nockin experiences Puccini's 'The Girl of the Golden West' in HD from New York Metropolitan Opera

  • Profile. Spanish Rhythms - George Colerick describes how Emmanuel Chabrier was in sympathy with the new spirit of his age, opening up new directions which later composers would follow

  • CD Spotlight. A Certain Affinity - Extraordinary violin sonatas, recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Auerbach and Pierce give scintillating performances throughout ...'

  • Ensemble. Great Impetus - J S Bach, Bernstein and Beethoven from Angela Hewitt, Yutaka Sado and the Vienna Tonkünstler Orchestra, heard by Mike Wheeler

  • Beautifully Judged - Brahms, Beethoven and Nikolay Kapustin from Julian Clef, heard by Mike Wheeler

  • Ensemble. A Different 'Gospel' - Giuseppe Pennisi explores the mesmerising aural world of John Adams

  • CD Spotlight. Superbly Enjoyable - Early chamber music by Peter Dickinson impresses Malcolm Miller. '... a welcome addition to a select repertoire is Dickinson's Four Duos for flute and cello, brightly played here by Rosanna Ter-Berg and Lydia Hillerudh ...'

  • Ensemble. Music in the Pontifical Basilicas - Giuseppe Pennisi attends the inaugural concert of The Rome International Festival of Sacred Music and Art

  • Ensemble. A Poor Staging - Graham Vick's 'The Marriage of Figaro' in Rome, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi

  • Ensemble. A Memorable Evening - Shostakovich's 'Leningrad' Symphony performed by two symphony orchestras in San Diego, and conducted by Valery Gergiev, heard by Ron Bierman

  • Ensemble. Myriad Nuances of Color - Verdi's 'Aida' in high definition from New York Metropolitan Opera, reviewed by Maria Nockin

  • Ensemble. Diction and Projection - A performance by The Hills Singers impresses Keith Bramich

  • CD Spotlight. Pianistic Acrobatics - Louis Lortie's Saint-Saëns thrills Anett Fodor. 'Louis Lortie's wonderfully led singing melodic lines, outstanding technique, musicality and cooperation with the conductor as well as the outstanding orchestral playing demand one's full attention.'

  • Ensemble. Tears Behind the Laughter - San Diego Opera's 'The Marriage of Figaro', reviewed by Ron Bierman

  • Ensemble. Colour and Energy - An uppity chicken, a cuckoo and much more ... Stravinsky, J S Bach, Respighi and Mendelssohn from Maddy Aldis-Evans, Benedict Holland, Frank Zielhorst and Sinfonia Viva impress Mike Wheeler

  • Ensemble. A Rare Outing - Poulenc, Vaughan Williams and Beethoven from the Derby Concert Orchestra, heard by Mike Wheeler

  • Ensemble. Enthralling Seasons - Haydn's oratorio begins one of Rome's major concert seasons, heard by Giuseppe Pennisi

  • Profile. The Comic / Serious Mix - Ron Bierman talks to British opera director Stephen Lawless, whose 'Marriage of Figaro' is currently at San Diego Opera

  • CD Spotlight. A Heady Immediacy - Orchestral music by Erich Wolfgang Korngold impresses Gerald Fenech. 'Rohde and his forces dish out some truly magisterial interpretations full of spirited playing and athletic grace ...'

  • CD Spotlight. Always Interesting - Orchestral music by Henri Dutilleux intrigues Geoff Pearce. 'The performances by soloists and orchestra are absolutely first class. Dutilleux should be heard much more than he is ...'

  • CD Spotlight. Profound Originality - Harpsichord music by Louis Couperin, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Christophe Rousset ... gives radiant performances full of charm and grace ...'

  • Ensemble. A Delightful Surprise - Beethoven, Turina and Schumann from the Aquinas Trio impress Mike Wheeler

  • CD Spotlight. Fine Performance - Orchestral music by Mieczyslaw Weinberg, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'Serenade Op 47 No 4 ... represents a happier and undemanding part of the composer's output, written, I guess, to appease the authorities.'

  • Ensemble. Turning Point - Leonard Bernstein's 'West Side Story' begins Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia's season, by Giuseppe Pennisi

  • Ensemble. An Upgrade - Sinfonia Viva's string section, directed by Benedict Holland, begins the Derby Folk Festival, heard by Mike Wheeler

  • CD Spotlight. A Very Joyous Disc - Brahms arranged by Kenneth Woods impresses Alice McVeigh. '... this is an excellent performance representing a useful, joyful and even inspired addition to the orchestral repertoire.'

  • Ensemble. A Magical Zauberflöte - Giuseppe Pennisi was at the opening of Teatro dell'Opera di Roma's autumn season

  • CD Spotlight. Addiction to Poetry - Debussy songs, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Two joyful hours from four of the most passionate advocates for Debussy you can find at present.'

  • Ensemble. Ulysses' Homecoming - Giuseppe Pennisi was expecting a graduate performance of Monteverdi, but experienced a masterpiece

  • CD Spotlight. Absolutely Gorgeous - Harpsichord music by François Couperin, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... Bertrand Cuiller gives magical renditions of a number of Ordres, displaying with vigorous energy all the colour of sounds, alliterations, double meanings and parodies that these works encapsulate ...'

  • CD Spotlight. Beautifully Executed - Todd Crow's Chopin Mazurkas, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'This disc contains some very fine performances ...'

  • Ensemble. Mixed Feelings - 'Attila' at the Verdi Festival, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi

  • Ensemble. A Safety-first Programme - Sibelius, Tchaikovsky, Mendelssohn and Dvorák from Alexander Gavrylyuk, Karl-Heinz Steffens and the Hallé Orchestra, heard by Mike Wheeler

  • Wild Extravagance - George Colerick investigates Berlioz, Fantasy and Literature

  • Ensemble. Abstract and Utterly Stylized - Giuseppe Pennisi experiences 'Le Trouvère', the last operatic staging in Parma's Teatro Farnese

  • Ensemble. When Verdi mimics Donizetti - 'Un Giorno di Regno' in Busseto, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi

  • Ensemble. Triumph for 'The First' Macbeth - Giuseppe Pennisi reports from the 2018 Verdi Festival

  • CD Spotlight. Music Archaeology - Music played on the 'Aulos', heard by Gerald Fenech. '... this unique and exciting project is now at its consummation ...'

  • CD Spotlight. Subtlety in Detail - Leslie Tung plays Mozart, Beethoven and Haydn, impressing Annet Fodor. '... a rare and unusual musical find.'

  • CD Spotlight. Stellar Performances - Handel Cantatas, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... music of the utmost beauty, full of emotional outpourings that cover the whole spectrum of the human condition ...'

  • Ensemble. Musically Outstanding - Wagner's 'Das Rheingold' in dress rehearsal at Covent Garden impresses Alice McVeigh

  • Ensemble. Almost a World Premiere - Gaspare Spontini's 'Le metamorfosi di Pasquale', heard by Giuseppe Pennisi

  • Ensemble. War and Peace - Giuseppe Pennisi reports from the Sagra Musicale Umbra Festival

  • CD Spotlight. Woolly Publicity - The Flemish septet Aranis, heard by the late Howard Smith. 'There's no doubting Aranis' outright professionalism and faultless ensemble; and the fifty-five minute programme has a degree of variety.'

  • CD Spotlight. Double Meanings? - Seattle-based ensemble Torch, heard by Keith Bramich. '... the music sounds modern, jazzy, light and almost aleatoric-sounding.'

  • Russian Political Satire - George Colerick writes about Nikolai Rimsky Korsakov's extraordinary opera 'The Golden Cockerel'

  • Is this the meaning of my Life? - In Leonard Bernstein's anniversary year, George Colerick tells the story of the opera 'Candide', one of the twentieth century's great musical satires

  • You spotted snakes - George Colerick muses on incidental music, with particular regard to Mendelssohn

  • Don't Forget the Singing - Richard Meszto previews Calgary Concert Opera Company's performances of 'La Traviata'

  • CD Spotlight. Appealing Work - Music for euphonium, heard by the late Howard Smith. '... it's the lyrical selections that reveal Frey at his finest.'

  • CD Spotlight. Beautifully Played - Castelnuovo-Tedesco's Cello Concerto, heard by Alice McVeigh. 'Brinton maintains a clear, sonorous and resonant sound even in the highest register, though he could perhaps have been willing to take a few more risks.'

  • CD Spotlight. Strong on Fascination - Music by Andrew Paul Macdonald, heard by the late Howard Smith. '... excellent performances/production values ...'

  • CD Spotlight. A Strong Impression - Prokofiev's ballet 'Romeo and Juliet' impresses Gerald Fenech. '... this interpretation has passion and drama aplenty, and climaxes are handled with meticulous control.'

  • Ensemble. A Musical and Social Bonanza - Roderic Dunnett continues his in-depth review of this year's Three Choirs Festival in Hereford

  • Ensemble. An Impervious Affair - 'Il Trittico' at the Puccini Festival, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi

  • CD Spotlight. Poetic Inspirations - Music for oboe, viola and piano, heard by the late Howard Smith. 'Here ... is a chamber music CD qualifying emphatically as "a must" for eager music lovers everywhere. It doesn't get any better.'

  • CD Spotlight. Truly Refreshing - Orchestral music by Harbison, Ruggles and Stucky, recommended by Geoff Pearce. 'On hearing this work, you will thirst for more.'

  • Ensemble. Lovers' Opera - Giovanni Pacini's 'Il Convitato di Pietra', reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi

  • CD Spotlight. Inherent Sincerity - Violin and piano music by Oskar Morawetz, heard by the late Howard Smith. 'In committed, firmly etched performances, violinist Jasper Wood with pianist David Riley present a strong case for home listeners keen to explore unfamiliar violin music of the recent past.'

  • CD Spotlight. Mood Enhancing - 360 Degree Guitar Duo, heard by the late Howard Smith. '... ideal for relaxation with a chianti ...'

  • CD Spotlight. Spiritual Fervour - Music by Elgar for chorus and orchestra, recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Highly enjoyable Elgar superbly recorded and performed.'

  • CD Spotlight. Beautifully Wrought - Orchestral music by Svend Erik Tarp delights Geoff Pearce. '... this disc left me thirsting for more from this composer, and from Scandinavian music generally.'

  • CD Spotlight. Inspiring Stuff - Hieronymus Praetorius and colleagues, recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Sigla de Oro give some absolutely brilliant performances ...'

  • CD Spotlight. An Immersive Experience - Music by Craig Safan, experienced by Anett Fodor. 'The blending of classical instruments with new electronic techniques combined in melodious, catchy themes, resulting in an unusual orchestration.'

  • CD Spotlight. Versatility and Imagination - Choral music by Richard Rodney Bennett, appreciated by Gerald Fenech. 'Paul Spicer and his choristers give eloquent performances, full of precise details and expressive energy, and in their hands Bennett's imaginative prowess is brought to life with intense clarity.'

  • Ensemble. An Overwhelming Success - Pier Luigi Pizzi's new 'Barber of Seville' enthralls the Rossini Opera Festival, by Giuseppe Pennisi

  • Ensemble. Sparkling Wine and Wedding Cake - Rossini's 'Adina' in Pesaro, enjoyed by Giuseppe Pennisi

  • Border Crossings - Mike Wheeler listens to Andy von Oppenkowski's recital as part of the Derby Cathedral organ series

  • Ensemble. A Lukewarm Reception - 'Ricciardo e Zoriade' at the Rossini Opera Festival, heard by Giuseppe Pennisi

  • Ensemble. A Funeral March - Tchaikovsky's 'The Queen of Spades' at Salzburg impresses Giuseppe Pennisi

  • In At The Deep End - Michael Haynes' organ recital at Derby Cathedral, heard by Mike Wheeler

  • CD Spotlight. Coherent and Interesting - Music for string quartet by Lyell Cresswell interests Geoff Pearce. 'The Red Note Ensemble, a Scottish group specialising in new music, gives taut, precise performances, played with conviction.'

  • CD Spotlight. Attractive Creations - Violin duets by Louis Spohr, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... charming yet exhilarating performances full of subtle touches of colour and textural variety ...'

  • CD Spotlight. Passion and Conviction - Music by Paul Reale, heard by Geoff Pearce. '... the musical material evolves as it goes ...'

  • CD Spotlight. An Adventurous Undertaking - Piano music by Lowell Liebermann, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... superbly performed and sumptuously annotated and recorded.'

  • Ensemble. Gábor Káli - Giuseppe Pennisi reports on the Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award

  • Ensemble. A Natural Assurance - Monteverdi and Elgar from the Three Choirs Festival at Hereford impress Roderic Dunnett

  • Ensemble. Deutsche Oper - Mozart's 'Die Zauberflöte' at the Salzburg Summer Festival, heard by Giuseppe Pennisi

  • Ensemble. Outer Spaces - A homage to Beat Furrer in Salzburg, by Giuseppe Pennisi

  • Mozart Changes - Carleton Etherington's organ recital at Derby Cathedral, enjoyed by Mike Wheeler

  • Ensemble. Salome and the Stones - Giuseppe Pennisi sends his first report from the Salzburg Summer Festival

  • Ensemble. A New Venture - Mike Wheeler listens to Brahms, Elgar, Haydn, Parry, Philip Moore, Purcell, Rutter, Stanford and Vivaldi from Derby Cathedral Choir

  • Ensemble. No Sex Please, We're Romeo and Juliet - Giuseppe Pennisi was at Rome's Terme di Caracalla for a new production of Prokofiev's ballet

  • Ensemble. An Absolute Triumph - Roderic Dunnett listens enraptured to Ireland and Smyth at the opening night of the 2018 Three Choirs Festival

  • Ensemble. Cheeky Formula - Nicolò Isouard's 'Cendrillon'
    at Bampton Classical Opera,
    heard by RODERIC DUNNETT

  • Crossing Borders - Mike Wheeler listens to Hugh Morris at Derby Cathedral, beginning this year's summer organ recital series

  • CD Spotlight. Sober and Engrossing - Orchestral music by Toshio Hosokawa, heard by Giuseppe Pennisi. 'The interpreters ... are high level and accustomed to working with Hosokawa and his music.'

  • Ensemble. Totally Individual - The first performance of David Sawer's opera 'The Skating Rink' impresses Roderic Dunnett

  • Ensemble. An Opera of Two Halves - Donizetti's 'L'ange de Nisida' at Covent Garden, reviewed by Alice McVeigh

  • Ensemble. Genuine Insights - Lizzie Ball and Morgan Szymanski at the Buxton Festival impress Mike Wheeler

  • Ensemble. Plus and Minus - Songs and arias from Jennifer Davis and Caroline Dowdle at the Buxton Festival, heard by Mike Wheeler

  • Ensemble. Distinct Possibilities - Mike Wheeler listens to Haydn and Bach from the Emanon Ensemble in Derby Cathedral

  • Ensemble. An Odd Couple? - Music from Japan and Portugal at Rome's 'Opus' Festival, heard by Giuseppe Pennisi

  • Plangent and Nimble - Naples-born clarinettist and composer Luca Luciano impresses Mike Wheeler

  • Ensemble. Pure Joy - Roderic Dunnett visits Winslow Hall Opera for Verdi's 'Il Trovatore'

  • Ensemble. 'Opéra comique' meets 'Easy Rider' - Mike Wheeler reports from Buxton on Opera Della Luna's 'The Daughter of the Regiment'

  • Ensemble. A Potent Realisation - Mozart's 'Idomeneo' at the Buxton Festival, heard by Mike Wheeler

  • Ensemble. Compact and Fast-moving - Verdi's 'Alzira' at the Buxton Festival impresses Mike Wheeler

  • Ensemble. Rossini in The Quarry - 'The Barber of Seville' at an unusual venue in Hungary, praised by Anett Fodor

  • Ensemble. References to Fellini - 'La Traviata' in 'La Dolce Vita', by Giuseppe Pennisi

  • CD Spotlight. A Musical Bond - Kabalevsky and Weinberg Concertos, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Innovative stuff worthy of some serious investigation.'

  • Ensemble. A Pleasure Garden - Two summer concerts on an evening in Rome, heard by Giuseppe Pennisi

  • Ensemble. Daily Puccini - Malcolm Miller enjoys an opera lollipop recital in the city of the composer's birth

  • CD Spotlight. Sensational - Maxwell Davies from the Hebrides Ensemble, recommended by Roderic Dunnett. 'As an approach to Maxwell Davies' music, this could scarcely be bettered.'

  • The Many Hats of Allan Rae - A Birthday Greeting, by Endre Anaru

  • CD Spotlight. Marvellous Stuff - Orchestral music by Zoltán Kodály, recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... memorably performed and recorded ...'

  • CD Spotlight. Hugely Enjoyable - Orchestral music by Camille Saint-Saëns, recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... an exotic musical picture postcard full of perfumed sensuality and brazen march themes ...'

  • CD Spotlight. Practical Experiments? - Choral music by Jonathan Little, heard by Keith Bramich. '... Australian music with a difference.'

  • CD Spotlight. Imaginative Vigour - Meyerbeer's opera 'Margherita d'Anjou', heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Fabio Luisi marshalls his forces with aplomb, and his commitment to the work keeps the music moving along with verve and enthusiasm ...'

  • Ensemble. Richness of the Score - Puccini's 'La bohème' in Rome, heard by Giuseppe Pennisi

  • Ensemble. A Refreshing Novelty - Marimba duo G-Mizz, heard by Mike Wheeler

  • CD Spotlight. Finely Crafted - Twentieth century Polish songs, recommended by Geoff Pearce. '... a fascinating journey into the evolving compositional style of Karol Szymanowski ...'

  • Ensemble. Playing The Long Game - Mahler's 'Resurrection' Symphony from Jamie Phillips and the Hallé Orchestra impresses Mike Wheeler

  • It's Never Too Late - Gloria DeVidas Kirchheimer on the advantages of age when learning the piano

  • CD Spotlight. Colourful Performance - Dmitrij Kitajenko conducts Mussorgsky and Prokofiev, heard by Stephen Francis Vasta. 'Vladislav Sulimsky sings with feeling in a compact, reasonably firm baritone ...'

  • Ensemble. Boundless Energy - Hungarian pianist János Balázs and the Cziffra Festival Chamber Orchestra, heard in Bratislava by Anett Fodor

  • Ensemble. Unaffected Directness - A song recital by Curran Doherty and Edward Turner, heard by Mike Wheeler

  • From Heaven Winging - Keith Bramich remembers this magazine's founding editor, Basil Ramsey, who passed away this week

  • Ensemble. Intrigue, Amusement and Confusion - Keith Bramich is impressed by Covent Garden's new production of Wagner's 'Lohengrin'

  • Ensemble. Showing the Wild Side - A clarinet and piano recital by Hannah Gobbett and Hugh Morris, entertains Mike Wheeler

  • CD Spotlight. Much to be Gained - Jenny Q Chai explores sound and colour, impressing Geoff Pearce. 'The pianist is assured, exciting to listen to and totally compelling.'

  • Ensemble. American Light Opera - Opera North enthralls the audience at the Ravenna Festival in Cole Porter's 'Kiss me Kate', by Giuseppe Pennisi

  • Ensemble. A Timeless Staging - Giuseppe Pennisi visits Bologna for a very political 'Don Carlo'

  • Somewhat Delayed Reviews - A Memory Thread - Edward Baxter Perry's 'Descriptive Analyses of Piano Works: For the Use of Teachers, Players, and Music Clubs', read by Endre Anaru

  • Ensemble. Highly Promising Talent - Katie Gilbert, Esther Beard and Edward Leung at Derby Cathedral, heard by Mike Wheeler

  • Ensemble. The Endless Darkness of Light - Adriano Guarnieri's new opera at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, experienced by Giuseppe Pennisi

  • A Seasoned Champion of New Music - Argentinian-American pianist Mirian Conti in conversation with Andrew Schartmann

  • Youthful Hilarity - George Colerick discusses comedy in Giuseppe Verdi's early opera 'Un Giorno di Regno'

  • Ensemble. Gut-wrenching Performance - Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich from Arabella Steinbacher, Michael Sanderling and the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra, heard by Mike Wheeler

  • Ensemble. A Fantastic Story - The children's opera 'Shackleton's Cat', enjoyed by Roderic Dunnett

  • Ensemble. Vaguely Supernatural - George Benjamin's 'Lessons in Love and Violence' at Covent Garden, heard by Alice McVeigh

  • CD Spotlight. Candid Simplicity - Choral music by Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari, investigated by Gerald Fenech. 'Friedrich Haider and his team give sympathetic performances full of committed endeavour and unbridled enthusiasm ...'

  • Ensemble. A Different 'Manon' - Kenneth McMillan's ballet on Massenet's music arrives in Rome, enthralling Giuseppe Pennisi

  • CD Spotlight. A Real Melange - Music for wind quintet, enjoyed by Geoff Pearce. 'The members of Ventus Machina enjoy this music, as is evident from their well-balanced and joyous playing.'

  • Ensemble. Aural Perspective - A visit from Osnabrück by the Marienkantorei, for Elgar, Rheinberger and Mendelssohn, heard by Mike Wheeler

  • Ensemble. An Odd Couple - A Hindemith and Mascagni double bill in Cagliari, heard by Giuseppe Pennisi

  • CD Spotlight. On Buoyant Form - Orchestral music by Andrew Downes, heard by Roderic Dunnett. '... varied, innovative, involving and absorbing.'

  • Hugely Talented - Haydn and Tchaikovsky Sonatas from Russian pianist Roman Kosyakov, heard by Mike Wheeler

  • CD Spotlight. Absolutely Superb - Early music from Northern Europe, highly recommended by Geoff Pearce. 'These are truly great performances of less familiar music, and all musicians featured are of the finest quality.'

  • CD Spotlight. Absolutely unmissable - Prokofiev's 'Ivan the Terrible', recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... a blockbuster of an issue which should delight both film score collectors and Prokofiev admirers in equal measure.'

  • Ensemble. Long Overdue - Giuseppe Pennisi was in the audience for the first performance in Rome of Benjamin Britten's 'Billy Budd'

  • Somewhat Delayed Reviews - Charming, Beautiful and Cunning - Sentimental songs performed by Vivian Montgomery and Pamela Dellal, heard by Endre Anaru

  • Ensemble. Stravinskian Credentials - Rossini, Poulenc and Saint-Saëns from Nottingham Harmonic Choir and the Hallé Orchestra, heard by Mike Wheeler

  • Ensemble. Born Again - Hindemith's 'Cardillac' at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi

  • Ensemble. Never a Dull Moment - Jules Massenet's 'Cendrillon', live in high definition from New York Metropolitan Opera, impresses Maria Nockin

  • Ensemble. Puppyish Ebullience - Beethoven, Rachmaninov, Mendelssohn, Ravel, Dushkin, Bob Marley, Coleridge-Taylor and Monti from the Kanneh-Mason Trio, heard by Mike Wheeler

  • Ask Alice - On teaching adult cello students, with Classical Music Agony Aunt Alice McVeigh

  • Opera versus Mafia - Giuseppe Pennisi talks to Francesco Giambrone, Superindent of Teatro Massimo di Palermo

  • CD Spotlight. Stunningly Performed - Trios by Schumann, Smit, Mozart and Françaix, recommended by Geoff Pearce. 'Music is in fine hands for the future with young artists of this calibre.'

  • CD Spotlight. Freshness and Enthusiasm - Early music by Richard Strauss impresses Gerald Fenech. '... full of sunny and exuberant musical tone painting which gives a huge uplift in spirits ...'

  • CD Spotlight. Remarkable Sensitivity - Angela Brownridge plays Debussy Préludes, impressing Anett Fodor. '... her inexhaustible source of timbre, the delicate style and use of both pedals, as well as her excellent piano technique demand listeners' full attention.'

  • Vigorously Rhetorical - A piano recital by Martin James Bartlett, heard by Mike Wheeler

  • Ensemble. Is 'Carmen' for Children? - Giuseppe Pennisi attends a special Opera Domani performance

  • Boldly Presented - Martin Cousin's piano recital for Derby Chamber Music, heard by Mike Wheeler

  • CD Spotlight. Peace and Praise - Choral music from Queens College New York, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... beautifully performed, sumptuously recorded ...'

  • Ensemble. Engagingly Springy - The European Union Chamber Orchestra in Nottingham impresses Mike Wheeler

  • CD Spotlight. Beautiful Writing - Music by Kara Karayev, heard by Geoff Pearce. '... I think this composer will become more widely known - he certainly deserves to be, if these two quite contrasting and original works are anything to go by.'

  • Ensemble. Blood and Orgasms - Dmitri Shostakovich's 'Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District' in Naples, heard by Giuseppe Pennisi

  • CD Spotlight. Divisive and Enigmatic - Piano music by Stravinsky, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Peter Donohoe has always been an ardent admirer of the composer, and these interpretations reveal this sincere attachment.'

  • Ensemble. A Rare Bird - Riccardo Zandonai's 'Francesca da Rimini' at La Scala, heard by Giuseppe Pennisi

  • Ensemble. Appealing and Dramatic - Verdi's 'Luisa Miller' live in HD from New York Metropolitan Opera, enjoyed by Maria Nockin

  • Ensemble. Revival or World Premiere? - 'I Puritani in Palermo', heard by Giuseppe Pennisi

  • Book review. An Elegant Publication - Mozart's Musical Diary, 1784-1791, read by Daniel Schorno

  • CD Spotlight. Endlessly Intriguing - Music by John William 'Blind' Boone, heard by the late Howard Smith. 'John Davis' adroit (Steinway) performances are consistently well-judged ...'

  • CD Spotlight. Particularly Satisfying - Music by Erkki-Sven Tüür, heard by Geoff Pearce. '... for those who enjoy contemporary music, and like to hear something new and refreshing, Tüür ticks all the boxes.'

  • CD Spotlight. A Life-enhancing Work - Gustav Mahler's Symphony No 9 impresses Gerald Fenech. '... Harding's handling of the inner angst of the music is faultlessly revealing.'

  • CD Spotlight. Exemplary Performances - Martin and Martinu choral music pleases Geoff Pearce. '... beautiful music, lovingly performed ...'

  • CD Spotlight. An Outstanding Selection - Music by Christoph Graupner, strongly recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Exquisitely beautiful music, superbly performed, sumptuously recorded and splendidly packaged.'

  • CD Spotlight. Grace and Beauty - Music by Bartók for Piano and Orchestra, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'I would recommend this disc for a great recording of the Piano Concerto No 3 ...'

  • CD Spotlight. Adeptly Handled - String Quartets by Elgar and Delius, heard by Stephen Francis Vasta. 'From the soft yet unified opening attack, we know that the Villiers Quartet will serve the score well.'

  • CD Spotlight. Invaluable and Timely - Nicola Porpora's 'L'Amato Nome', enjoyed by Gerald Fenech. 'Stile Galante deliver performances that are sensitive, intelligent and beautifully controlled with the singing in particular being stylish and elegant yet consistently expressive and linguistically meticulous.'

  • Ensemble. Protests in Rome - A mixed reception for 'Cav and Pag' at Teatro dell'Opera, by Giuseppe Pennisi

  • Profile. Power and Agility - Ron Bierman talks to Cuban-American soprano Elaine Alvarez

  • Ensemble. Well Conveyed - Stainer, Tavener, Ireland, Matthew Martin and Vaughan Williams from Derby Choral Union, heard by Mike Wheeler

  • Ensemble. A Deep Impression - Less well-known music for oboe and piano played by James Turnbull and Libby Burgess, appreciated by Mike Wheeler

  • CD Spotlight. Nebulous - The Ahn Trio, heard by the late Howard Smith. '... this shallow programme lacks any lucid direction or musical focus.'

  • CD Spotlight. Deep Emotions - Keyboard music by J S Bach impresses Anett Fodor. 'Simone Leitão plays with a sharply honed, flawless technique and her sense of style is highly refined.'

  • Ensemble. A Compelling Production - Verdi's 'Un Ballo in Maschera' at Opera North, reviewed by Mike Wheeler

  • Ensemble. Choral Interventions - Wagner's 'Der fliegende Holländer' at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, heard by Giuseppe Pennisi

  • CD Spotlight. An Enthralling Issue - Songs by Nikolai Medtner impress Gerald Fenech. 'This fine set includes 54 songs, so there are riches aplenty for one to savour and enjoy.'

  • Ensemble. Hugely Promising - Frank Zielhorst steps in as Principal Conductor of Sinfonia Viva, impressing Mike Wheeler

  • Ensemble. An Exciting Whirlwind - Constantinos Carydis conducts Russian and Greek music in Rome, impressing Giuseppe Pennisi

  • Ensemble. Panto Flavour - Alessandro Talevi's time-travelling, Punch-and-Judy, rock-'n'-roll production of 'Don Giovanni' for Opera North has been back on the road. Mike Wheeler re-visited it in Nottingham

  • Ensemble. Sex and Modernism - A triptych of modern ballets, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi

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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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 ...'

  • 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'

  • 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.'

  • Ensemble. A Brisk Pace - L'Elisir d'Amore, live in HD from New York, reviewed by Maria Nockin

  • Ensemble. A Whirlwind of Slapstick - French Carnival Operettas in Venice, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi

  • Ensemble. Deeply Involving - Haydn, Britten and Schubert from The Alke String Quartet, heard by Mike Wheeler

  • Ensemble. Angel of the Apocalypse - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Messiaen in Rome

  • Ensemble. Traditional Settings - Puccini's 'Tosca' in high definition at New York Metropolitan Opera impresses Maria Nockin

  • Ensemble. Tender and Charming - Lisa Batiashvili plays Prokofiev, enjoyed by Giuseppe Pennisi

  • Ensemble. Mathematical Advantage - Sinfonia Viva's annual schools residency, experienced by Mike Wheeler

  • Ensemble. Lively and Joyful - Vivaldi, J S Bach and Handel from The Sixteen, reviewed by Mike Wheeler

  • CD Spotlight. The English Beethoven - Piano music by Harold Truscott, recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... it is truly remarkable that he became a practicing musician let alone a composer of some of the most dramatic English piano music of the last century.'

  • CD Spotlight. Bordering on the Casual - The American Horn Quartet, heard by the late Howard Smith. 'One can only marvel at such shared virtuosity in technique with an instrument with no escape routes; no latitude for error.'

  • Ensemble. Debussy Perspective - Giuseppe Pennisi samples a concert series marking the one hundredth anniversary of the French composer's death

  • CD Spotlight. An Adventurous Release - Piano music by William Hurlstone, commended by Gerald Fenech. 'Kenji Fujimura extracts every ounce of fantasy and imagination from this wistful yet intriguing repertoire, and his sensitivity and lightheartedness make the music yield all its youthful zest and fresh-faced poetry.'

  • A Fascinating Programme - Dina Duisen plays Beethoven, Chopin, Saint-Saëns, Liszt and Nagim Mendygaliev, impressing Mike Wheeler

  • CD Spotlight. Uniquely Satisfying - Unconventional concertos by Mark Armanini, fascinated the late Howard Smith. '... this Chinese-Canadian-Vietnamese-Latvian programme is fascinating, eloquent, musically distinguished and deserving of a widespread multi-national following.'

  • Book Review. A Real Gem - Jonathan Keates' study of Handel's 'Messiah', recommended by Gerald Fenech

  • Ensemble. Bartók Pizzicato Gun Shots - Vivaldi, Edgar Meyer and Beethoven from Joshua Bell and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields impress Mike Wheeler

  • Ensemble. Romanticism and Rock - Lalo and Pink Floyd ballets in Rome, experienced by Giuseppe Pennisi

  • CD Spotlight. Unerring Beauty - Praga Digitals' tribute to Victoria de los Ángeles, heard by Roderic Dunnett. 'De los Ángeles herself is, needless to say, enchanting. The purity, the innocence of the voice, as one can hear here, is simply unique to her.'

  • Ensemble. A Dramatic Passion - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Bernardo Pasquini's 'La Sete di Cristo'

  • Ensemble. A Gradual Maturing - Giuseppe Pennisi describes the recent performance history of Rossini's 'William Tell' and reviews Palermo's 2018 production

  • CD Spotlight. Quite Engaging - Orchestral music by Barbara Harbach, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'The musical language is easy on the ear, and to me hearkens back to an earlier age of American Composers such as Aaron Copland ...'

  • CD Spotlight. A Fine Achievement - Symphonies by Carl Friedrich Abel delight Roderic Dunnett. '... Schneider manages to bring out the character of each of these individual pieces without overstating at any point.'

  • Strongly Projected - A piano recital by Colin Stone for Derby Chamber Music impresses Mike Wheeler

  • Ensemble. Bandits in Rome - Giuseppe Pennisi describes the stormy reaction to Verdi's 'I Masnadieri'

  • 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.'

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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.'

  • 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.'

  • 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 ...'

 

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