Issue 38:1
Sept/Oct 2014
Magazine Contents

Classical Recordings

This was my first chance to hear this famous set of the Beethoven symphonies (and two overtures), originally issued on LP by Reader’s Digest, specially pressed...

In 1961, George Szell, who had examined a Photostat of the manuscript, inserted what he called “a pungent dissonance” at bars 109 and 327 of the...

I am surprised that the earlier releases in this series (symphonies Nos. 2 and 6 on ZZT301, and symphonies Nos. 1 and 7 on ZZT 317)...

Objectivity compels me to acknowledge that in 1811, when Beethoven completed the “Archduke” Trio, fortepianos must still have existed that sounded like Schroeder’s cartoon keyboard in...

This new recording of Berlioz’s iconic masterpiece has a good feel to it—certainly, a more “Berlioz-ish” feel than the interesting but emotionally detached version by Robin...

Martin Berteau (c. 1700–1771) was an extremely successful cellist and teacher, credited with creating the French school of cello playing. He began, as did other French...

To celebrate Harrison Birtwistle’s 80th birthday, ECM have gathered up a collection of recent chamber writing played by, and in some cases written for, a very...

This album holds deep personal significance for the performers. In a video interview released in promotion of it, Raphael Wallfisch discusses his conception of the program...

Marcus Blunt is a British-born composer (born 1947) who studied composition at University College, Wales. He displays a fertile imagination and is served in exemplary fashion...

New Zealand composer Jack Body (b. 1944) has, the notes tell us, written a considerable amount of ensemble, vocal, orchestral, film, music theater, and “electro-acoustic” music....

The Inner Time by clarinetist Roger Heaton presents a radical vision of pieces for solo instrument that are rarely part of any clarinet album today. The...

Following on the heels of Joop Celis’s marvelous set of the complete piano music of York Bowen (Chandos 10774) is this equally fine single disc of...

Estonian pianist Vardo Rumessen has taken an unusual approach to putting together a program of solo piano works by Brahms. A selection from the three sets...

I do treasure my usual Fanfare assignments, from Haydn and the 20th century, but it’s a welcome change to be wallowing in the old warhorses again....

They’re b-a-c-k! LPs, that is. Not that they were ever gone, really. The used LP business has flourished and has been a lucrative one for many...

One never knows what to expect from Gergiev, but even given that unpredictability this seems unusually disappointing. The total timing might lead you to believe that...

With recordings available from a huge range of great conductors with distinct interpretive profiles (Furtwängler, Solti, Abbado, Levine, Barenboim, Klemperer, Karajan, Gardiner, Herreweghe, Rilling, and Rattle...

The German Requiem derives much of its considerable power from the lean economy of its conception. The key to a successful performance—and there are many—is proper...

As mentioned in my review of the 1952 radio performance of this cycle by Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau ( Fanfare 31:5), Die schöne Magelone is not a cycle...

The current incarnation of the Pro Arte Piano Quartet was founded in 1989 by three members of the St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble—Kenneth Sillito,...

If there’s such a thing as a “mighty” string quartet, the best candidates would probably come from Brahms’s output, so full of conflict and struggle, rather...

I’ve called attention to the highly complex, often counterintuitive nature of Brahms’s rhythmic procedures on so many occasions that I’m sure the reader has grown tired...

The title of this album is Brahms by Heart : the Chiara Quartet has taken to performing from memory. Apart from the impressiveness of the feat...

England’s veteran Brodsky Quartet gives Brahms’s A-Minor Quartet a performance of unusual expansiveness, lasting 36:35 with first-movement exposition repeat. The broad tempo of the first movement...

Considering that they represent the glorious pinnacle of Brahms’s achievement in chamber music for strings, the quintets are relatively infrequently recorded; this marks, by my count,...

The arrival of these two twin-packs of Wilhelm Kempff’s Brahms comes as a serendipitous coincidence, for in reviews elsewhere in this issue, as well as in...

This album is titled Complete Music for Cello and Piano . In truth, it’s more than that: The two sonatas, opp. 38 and 99, are actually...

These are, of course, Brahms’s clarinet sonatas, op. 120, in their optional version for viola. Geraldine Walther has been the violist of the Takács Quartet since...

Given the overly dense population of the Brahms violin sonatas in the listings and the number of entries vying for your dollars, it would be disingenuous...

The performance of the symphony begins at a moderate tempo … nothing startling. The rhythm is supple, rather than rigid. There is even an air of...

In 1949, after enduring the Koussevitzky terror for many years, the players of the Boston Symphony Orchestra found themselves with a new music director, Charles Munch...

This is now the third album to come my way from the Victor Elmaleh Collection. Elmaleh is a sponsor of the Concert Artists Guild (CAG) and...

I want to ponder for a moment the title: Britten to America . Given that name, one would expect works written during Benjamin Britten’s sojourn to...

I am losing count of the number of new recordings of Britten’s Violin Concerto, op. 15. One of the composer’s early masterpieces, this powerful work was...

What a mess this performance is, and this time all of the blame goes not to the stage director but to the cast and conductor. Whoever...

Benjamin Britten’s last opera, Death in Venice , has never really caught on, except perhaps in England itself. It has appeared twice at the New York...

The title of this disc, John Salmon Plays Brubeck, is somewhat deceptive. One might think that pianist John Salmon is only playing the music of Dave...

Robin Ticciati is an English conductor of Italian ancestry whose star is rising rapidly. He was born in 1983, and was exactly 30 years old when...

In reissuing this well-regarded Giulini reading of the Bruckner Second, the Vienna Symphony is paying tribute on the great conductor’s centennial. Giulini was its music director...

A Bruckner symphony arranged for chamber orchestra? That really shouldn’t work—but it does, and it’s a spectacular success. Jonathan Freeman-Attwood, principal of the Royal Academy of...

Karl Böhm’s Decca recording of Bruckner’s Fourth Symphony has no equal. This is one of those special occasions when conducting, orchestral playing, and sound all come...

It’s a bit confusing for Accentus/Unitel to refer to this Bruckner Seventh, filmed at the Berlin Philharmonie on June 25, 2010, as a performance of the...

This new Cameo Classics release constitutes the second volume of the label’s series Music of 19th Century Jewish German Composers , an adventurous and much needed...

Dietrich Buxtehude’s Membra Jesu nostri is, as the liner notes explain, a rare example of a Lutheran Passion from the 17th century, a cycle of seven...

This collection of seven cantatas, a Pietistic meditation on the wounds of the Savior’s Passion, has been appearing on records more than once a year in...

These two discs present the complete vocal works of Joan Baptista Cabanilles (1644–1712), who at the age of 21 became organist at the Valencia cathedral, where...

What a stunning discovery! Immediately after beginning to comprehend that Roffredo Caetani was, based on this disc, a composer of genuine quality, my first move was...

I ended my review of the first disc in this series—this is the second disc—with the words, “I look forward to the second, which undoubtedly will...