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CONTENTS

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

  • 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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