Issue 38:3
Jan/Feb 2015
Magazine Contents

Classical Recordings

This disc was a lovely discovery. I had never encountered the music of Eduard Abramian (1923–1986), an apparently highly respected composer and teacher in Armenia. He...

Funny how these things seem to come one on the heels of the other. Leading off this disc of music for violin and piano by Joseph...

By now we don’t need to go into detail about the career of John Luther Adams, who won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize in music for the...

“Life on this earth,” writes the composer, “first emerged from the sea. Today, as the polar ice melts and sea level rises, we humans face the...

This is a collection of Kalevi Aho’s music for organ, with and without other instruments. The second longest work on this SACD (15:41) is not Aho’s...

Anyone who’s passionate about Spanish classical music worships the 12 “impressions” of Spain that Albéniz composed in four books between 1905 and 1908. But are the...

I last reviewed music by Allen Anderson (b. 1951) 17 years ago, in Fanfare 20:4. At that point in time he had only recently joined the...

Founded as recently as 2002, the Stenhammer Quartet has quickly established itself as one of the finest chamber ensembles in Scandinavia, and this new recording of...

Among passionate devotees of this noble but often misunderstood instrument, one name towers above all the rest: the legendary Arnold Jacobs, longtime principal of the Chicago...

From the first note of this disc, the historically informed (don’t you just love that title?) Pulcinella Orchestra rips into C. P. E. Bach’s Cello Concerto...

In Fanfare 37:4, Manfred Huss earned a strong recommendation from me for a Handel Water Music which I judged “superbly and imaginative played and beautifully recorded.”...

I’m not sure why it is, but as of late BIS recordings of early music on harpsichords and fortepianos tend to sound more distantly recorded than...

This appears to be the first release of this video document. I could find no evidence online that this DVD is a reissue: Barnes & Noble,...

After having given a rave review to Pieter-Jan Belder’s recordings of the complete sonatas, rondos, and fantasias “für Kenner und Liebhaber” on Brilliant Classics in

As in the previous BIS release of C. P. E. Bach sonatas by Miklós Spányi, the keyboardist (here playing clavichord throughout rather than fortepiano or harpsichord)...

Here’s a gentle reminder that this disc has two of Bach’s “greatest hits”—three if you count the fact that the iconic chorale from Cantata 147 (aka...

Between 1731 and 1741, Bach published under the title Clavier-Übung (Keyboard Exercise) four separate volumes containing what he considered to be the finest and most representative...

My otherwise culturally astute grandparents didn’t understand Bach’s music, which is why I think my dear grandmother was relieved to learn that much of what the...

The idea of transcribing Johann Sebastian Bach’s violin concertos (in this case, the three canonical ones, BWV 1041–1043) occurred to organist Daniele Boccaccio years after he...

Because my old Schmieder catalog only extends to BWV 1080, I was surprised by a number on this disc I did not recognize. BWV 1121 turns...

This is not the first time that Bach’s complete Goldberg Variations have been played on a guitar, but it may be the first time that they...

Igor Levit is a musician of serious ambition. Many young pianists cut their teeth on technical showpieces and easily approachable Romantic chestnuts. Levit’s debut recording, released...

Merciless in judgment, this review shall at least be mercifully short. Colleague Lynn René Bayley has made repeated reference to period instrument violinists who play with...

These are live performances of Klemperer before what one wag called The Great Tempo Shift. The year was 1953, and the conductor had been invited to...

These recordings, made between 1958 and 1970 for the Eterna label, are released here for the first time in a boxed set. The problem is I’m...

Our headnote, taken from the disc cover, tells all—or almost all. By “Chants,” I assume it means “Chorales,” and there are occasional recitatives sprinkled amidst the...

Bach’s two volume Das wohltempierte Klavier is about as iconic a work as one might find in the Western keyboard literature, and currently virtually any harpsichordist...

This is volume 4 in Masaaki Suzuki’s Secular Cantatas series, and it’s an absolute blast, both figuratively and literally, especially for those who love Bach at...

Paul Snook, a critic I admire, called Bartoli “brilliant … the ideal choice for disseminating this music,” that is, Malipiero’s piano concertos. Perhaps Malipiero brings out...

Armenian composer Edward (or Eduard) Ivanovich Bagdasarian (1922–1987) had an interesting background and training, including studies in Moscow (so say the notes) “at the House of...

The French aristocracy of the ancient régime did seem to like musicians who hailed from the provinces, for the chief composer post-Lully, Jean-Philippe Rameau, came from...

This is a well-thought-out collection of Bartók’s earliest major orchestral works, composed before he developed his distinctive personal and more Modernistic style. Kossuth is named after...

With the possible exceptions of Leoš Janáček and Ralph Vaughan Williams, no major composer of the 20th century is more difficult to identify from his early...

The year 1902 was the centennial of the great Hungarian hero Lajos Kossuth. The entire nation went Kossuth-happy, demanding Hungarian character in language, in clothes, and...

Playing Bartók’s violin sonatas musically and well is challenging enough, but to get exactly the right feeling—what I can best characterize as the Hungarian “edginess” of...

Bartók had the ferocious Miraculous Mandarin ballet behind him when he was inspired to write his two violin sonatas under the spell of Jelly d’Arányi, a...

This is No. 15 in Hungaroton’s Bartók New Series , which will encompass all of the composer’s works on 31 CDs (the piano music and some...

Bartók lurched into his most raucous style with a jolt in the two years between the premiere of The Wooden Prince (1916) and starting on

These four recordings were made in 1990, a quarter of a century ago. The Wooden Prince responds well to Neeme Järvi’s primary-color, no-holds-barred approach to music,...

As Rich Capparela, afternoon host at Classical KUSC in Los Angeles, would put it: “Well, what can you say about Waldemar von Bausznern that hasn’t been...

Like it or not (and I like it), this set is anything but dull, and that’s more than one can say about most period instrument recordings...

The blurb on this excellent recording’s back cover indicates that Maria João Pires has developed her interpretations of Beethoven’s Third and Fourth piano concertos through “many...

With this latest CD, Leif Ove Andsnes completes The Beethoven Journey , a PR title for what amounts to a cycle of the five piano concertos...

The star of Cyprien Katsaris and Neville Marriner’s recording of the “Emperor” Concerto—and I don’t mean to be flip in saying this—is the piano, the Steingraeber...

A few years back (see Fanfare 34:5), Cyprien Katsaris treated us to an ear-opening release that put forward the Chopin Second Concerto in four different variants:...

These classic performances have been reviewed before in Fanfare , with those reviews ranging from positive to enthusiastic. The Beethoven is a 1934 British Columbia studio...

If the Missa solemnis was Beethoven’s favorite work and the glorious product of a creative surge in the four years from 1819 to 1823, it should...

Performances of the “Hammerklavier”—and they are proliferating on disc these days—tend to vary the most in pianists’ approach to the opening Allegro movement. It can be...