Issue 38:4
Mar/Apr 2015
Magazine Contents

Classical Recordings Pg. 7

This CD, titled Russian Moments, features young pianist Häring in a recital of Russian composers of the 20th century. The kicker is that, stylistically, they are...

Long before his death in 2005, Lazar Berman’s reputation was much diminished from its height in the 1970s, the period when he recorded for DG. This...

Rachmaninoff’s two piano trios, both titled “Elegiac,” are early works, the products of 1892 and 1893, respectively. The second was written in memory of Tchaikovsky; the...

My first encounter with the Trio Testore was fairly recent. In 37:2, I reviewed the group’s two-disc set of Brahms’s piano trios and hated it for...

Rameau the scholar is a familiar figure. His Traité de l’Harmonie Réduite à Ses Principes Naturels (1722) was the foundation for early Classical theories of harmony,...

I ordinarily don’t care much for recordings of opera excerpts, preferring to hear the pieces involved in the context of the complete works for which they...

It’s been a while since I last reviewed an album featuring Amarillis. I liked a collection of theirs entitled Médée furieuse , back in 2009 (Ambroisie...

This is the worst-sounding version of the Pièces de clavecin en concerts that I’ve heard in several decades. That isn’t a comment about its engineering (yet),...

The cover of this album, with harpsichordist Ketil Haugsand expressionless and color desaturated into white and gray, against a white background, reminds me of many early...

After Ludovic Morlot’s Seattle Symphony Dutilleux disc ( Fanfare 38:2), which I called “the most exciting disc of the year” in Want List 2014, I was...

If you were to ask a Frenchman to define the aesthetic of his country in few words, “clarity” would surely appear among them. The notion of...

By now it’s clear that Steve Reich is a composer of world import, and that his music is going to survive. I recently heard a live...

This is my first official review from a downloaded album, and in the interest of full disclosure, let me state for the record that the file...

Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade has always been enigmatic: The darker corners of the harmony and the sea-like swells have puzzled listeners since 1888. Though the Istanbul Philharmonic’s version...

Conversations about Rimsky-Korsakov quickly lead to comments about his expertise as an orchestrator. In fact, his book Principles of Orchestration remains in print, and continues to...

The members of the Zurich Ensemble are Fabio di Càsola (clarinet), Kamilla Schatz (violin), Pi-Chin Chien (cello), and Benjamin Engeli (piano). The ensemble’s web site doesn’t...

Even though Johan Helmich Roman (1694–1758) is acknowledged as the father of Swedish music, his work is scarcely known and even less appreciated. He is generally...

So many Rossini overture collections are from the rather distant past, you wonder if the charm of his curtain-raisers has somehow worn off. There hasn’t been...

Every time something goes “thump” on this CD, I’m tempted to open my closet door and see if a stage hand has tripped on his shoelaces....

This disc marks the ninth volume in Bridge’s series devoted to the contemporary Danish composer Poul Ruders, and very valuable it is turning out to be....

Saint-Saëns was described as “the only great composer who was not a genius,” although no one seems to know where the quote comes from. (I now...

It is good to hear some recent concertos from Australian guitarist John Williams, released here on his own label. All three works, though differing in scope...

Here is an unusual disc. French composer/conductor Michel Decoust (b. 1936), a student of Milhaud and Jean Rivier, orchestrated 55 short pieces by Erik Satie that...

Pianists pay lip service to the variety of invention in Scarlatti’s approximately 550 sonatas, but too often, they tend to program the most familiar ones. On...

The viola da gamba was one of the most versatile instruments of the Baroque era, and though it faded from popularity by the middle of the...

I came to an appreciation of Moses und Aron rather late, in fact less than five years ago, first through the aurally beautiful but rhythmically inaccurate...

There is an autumnal quality to much of Schubert’s piano music that often gets lost in translation. While certain pianists see fit to grab hold of...

This first-ever release of live concert material by Annie Fischer is titled Encore In Concert, and as the notes relate it is due to the perseverance...

Annie Fischer (1914–1995) not only disliked recording in the studio, she didn’t allow her concerts to be recorded by Hungarian Radio. These previously unreleased concert recordings...

In the middle of Schubert’s massive Octet in F Major for strings, horn, and woodwinds, there is a set of variations so exquisite that they threaten...

What we get on this album are two firsts: the first complete recordings of Schwanengensang and Dichterliebe . Both were recorded in 1928, with the former’s...

A Schubert masterpiece and some delightful companions—what could be better? The veteran German pianist Gerhard Oppitz is the latest high-profile artist to undertake the complete solo...

PentaTone has here reissued these 2009 Schubert violin and piano discs in a convenient slim-line twin-pack. As I write this in early October 2014, this release...

This two-SACD set was originally issued as two separate SACDs on the PentaTone label, in 2009 and 2010 respectively. It was lauded when it first appeared,...

At best I’ve felt that, outside the Baroque, most HIP dogma was academically dry and musically inert. If only the Hogwoods and Gardiners could get a...

This is the first CD I’ve sampled in Dennis Russell Davies’s ongoing Schubert cycle with the Basel Symphony, and it is a delight to hear this...

This is a commemorative album of Abbado’s years at the Lucerne Festival, which spanned five decades. He became a major presence there from 2000 onward after...

As with other Badura-Skoda discs I’ve reviewed recently, this is a Gemisch of recording dates (2009 in the Wanderer Fantasy , 1968 in D 840) and...

It’s not just “another Winterreise ” when the singer is arguably Germany’s greatest proponent of Lieder. Not yet 50, Matthias Goerne has been a dominant figure...

Ever since I discovered the music of Erwin Schulhoff, I’ve been a fan of his unusual style. Schooled in the best traditions of then-modern classical music,...

In his new recording for Harmonia Mundi, Andreas Staier assembles piano works from opposite ends of Schumann’s career. The Abegg-Varitionen , op. 1, and Fantasiestück

It took me no longer than a minute to realize, upon hearing the opening strains of this recording, that I was in the presence of a...

In a fascinating article by Peter Gutmann, titled Robert Schumann Symphony #4 in D Minor (& the Issue of Orchestration) — classicalnotes.net/classics3/schumannsym.html —the author poses an...

When Schumann’s symphonies are played in period style, it feels to me like a motor scooter to nowhere. After the rousing success of his First Symphony...

I wish I could be more enthusiastic about these performances. But I’m afraid sympathy is in order—for the continuing tendency of German orchestras to inflict HIP...

Here is a perfect example how musicologists and academics have ruined the enjoyment of music. This superb work, written in spurts between 1844 and 1853, resists...

Not To
Be Missed!