Issue 38:3
Jan/Feb 2015
Magazine Contents

Classical Recordings

Herbert von Karajan’s first Deutsche Grammophon complete cycle of Beethoven symphonies has been reissued multiple times since it was first released in 1963, so a detailed...

Carlos Kleiber is considered by many to be the greatest conductor of the last half-century. Despite his amazing technical skills and legendary ability to inspire orchestral...

This is the kind of robust, large-scale “Choral” Symphony still heard at concerts around the world, despite the prevalence on disc of newer styles. Abbado and...

Hector Berlioz is the kind of composer who gives megalomania a good name. It’s laughable that such vaunting ambition, lending itself to battalions of musicians performing...

I find Slatkin to be an on-again, off-again conductor, but here, he is very much “on,” thanks, perhaps, to the Orchestre National de Lyon, of which...

Readers take note: This is a Blu-ray audio only disc (no video) which nonetheless requires a Blu-ray player. But for that one exception, it’s no different...

I am unaware of any recording that is direct competition for this disc, i.e., an exact duplication of its repertoire. The best recordings of La mort...

A new Beethoven appears about once a decade in the British musical press, but Harrison Birtwistle (b. 1934) has withstood the test of time: Despite his...

If you think you recognize this release, that’s because you may well have acquired it nearly 15 years ago, when it originally appeared on ASV. Recorded...

This disc originally appeared as an ASV release in 2004 and was favorably reviewed at some length by Walter Simmons ( Fanfare 27:6). Neither the symphony...

This only requires a few brief remarks from me, as Walter Simmons (whose recent retirement from contributing to these pages I for one deeply regret) gave...

Claude Bolling is one of my favorite composers in the jazz-classical axis—in fact, he must be many people’s favorite composer in that genre, since his suite...

This was a gala performance that included luxury casting, with Rudolf Nureyev in the Polovtsian Dances (his first appearance in an opera production). Of course we...

The basic facts about the history of Borodin’s Prince Igor are well known to those who have taken an interest in this opera. Borodin worked on...

It is difficult to imagine that a disc devoted solely to percussion music would contain the variety of colors, textures, and moods that is heard here....

I rarely start a review with a discussion of sound quality, but with recordings of percussion, engineering is especially significant. Produced and engineered by Preben Iwan,...

With the exception of the Phantasy-Quintet, which I already have in an excellent performance by violinist Lucy Gould and a group of fine musicians on Chandos,...

This performance of the violin concerto conducted by Falletta is “Brahmsian” in the sense that it is warm-toned, employs a lot of legato in the phrasing,...

The prevailing melancholy of Brahms’s last years is somewhat misleading. He was quite capable of being gloomy when he was young and still full of promise....

The Brodsky Quartet, which is British despite its Russian-sounding name, has been in existence since 1972, which gives it a senior status all but unmatched. I...

Rave reviews here and elsewhere have confirmed Martin Fröst as one of today’s top-ranking clarinetists. I can personally corroborate this opinion, since I’ve been one to...

This new recording of Brahms’s Clarinet Quintet is unusual in that it doesn’t feature a standing string quartet, but rather an ad hoc group of colleagues...

The nonet version of Brahms’s Serenade No. 1 is no substitute for the full orchestral work— István Kertész’s classic 1967 recording of the two Brahms serenades,...

Over the course of my time with Fanfare , I’ve reviewed so many recordings of Brahms’s two cello sonatas that I’ve truly run out of things...

Paul Watkins, a longtime member of the Nash Ensemble, recently succeeded David Finckel as cellist of the Emerson String Quartet; Ian Brown is his Nash Ensemble...

Jean Johnson is an American clarinetist who is now based in the U.K. and married to pianist Steven Osborne, who is also her duo partner. She...

The award-winning young American pianist Adam Golka was born in 1987; that would make him 23 or 24 years old when this program was recorded in...

The album title is Romantic Works for Viola and Piano , but it might as well have been titled “Brahms and Friends,” for the first of...

Riccardo Chailly believes he has found the Holy Grail for interpreting Brahms’s symphonies. He focuses on the 1938–40 recordings of the symphonies by Felix Weingartner. Chailly...

This is Lorin Maazel’s 1975–1976 Cleveland Brahms cycle, released internationally for the first time in digital transfers from the original Decca masters on these Eloquence CDs....

I have long believed that, for most people, roughly 85 percent of the recordings of standard repertory would be quite satisfactory—almost every performance is decently played...

I may have mentioned a long time ago that the second record I ever owned was the LP of Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 2 with Heifetz,...

Bruckner banished from his published output the “Study Symphony,” also known as Symphony No. 00—neither title originated with him—which he composed in short order between February...

Simone Young continues her Hamburg Bruckner cycle apace, with just Nos. 5, 6, 7, and 9 now awaiting release. Most have enjoyed high praise in these...

The most notable characteristic of this single Blu-ray disc is its four-hour length. I reviewed the CD of this performance of the Eighth Symphony in our...

Claudio Abbado had more engagements to fill when he stepped off the podium after conducting the Bruckner Ninth on August 26, 2013, but it turned out...

As with any new Karajan release, this one will be overshadowed for some listeners by his Nazi-era past. I can think of no other Austrian or...

The coupling of all three Masses by William Byrd is as common on CD as the single versions, and his most familiar motet (heard here) has...

The title of this collection is Music for Piano and Percussion , but the focus really is on percussion instruments, as the piano is not used...

I thought that Volume 2 (Naxos 8.559727) would be the last, but here comes a third disc in Naxos’s series of John Cage’s Works for Two...

The first time I ever saw the name Alfredo Casella (1883–1947) was when I was back in college, browsing through the bookshelves of various musical biographies....

Alfredo Catalani certainly qualifies for stellar listing on a roster of hard-luck composers. Not only did he die at the age of only 39 (from tuberculosis)...

The fact that I'd never heard a note of Cécile Chaminade's (1857-1944) doesn't mean that important musicians haven't taken notice. There are CDs by Shura Cherkassky,...

Jordi Savall took part in the first annual festival of Baroque music at Versailles in 1988, an event that marked, as H. Wiley Hitchcock pointed out,...

Unsuk Chin (b. 1961) is a Korean composer who has made her career in Europe, and is based in Berlin. This disc features three big pieces,...

Certain performers are so extreme that their individuality breaks the bonds of convention, thumbs its nose at good taste, and turns into—what? A pianist like Ivo...

This is the debut recording of a pianist born in Warsaw in 1986. A graduate of the Chopin University of Music in Warsaw, Bracha won second...

As the headnote to this review indicates, this recording is a production of Warsaw’s Frederic Chopin Institute, a musicological organization established with the support of the...

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