Issue 38:4
Mar/Apr 2015
Magazine Contents

Classical Recordings

For many of us, new recordings of Beethoven’s symphonies are victimized by the law of diminishing returns: How much can we learn about the music that...

This is a famous recording among collectors, particularly Furtwängler specialists. Known as the “wartime Ninth,” its reputation is based on musical and extra-musical matters. Those who...

Silvia Martinelli’s rich, attractive voice is not always used to her best advantage. The sentiments of these sweet songs run deep, but her expression of them...

“If I were shipwrecked,” wrote Vincenzo Bellini, “I would leave all my other operas and try to save Norma .” The verdict of posterity seems to...

In the mid-1960s, the Greek-born soprano Elena Souliotis (originally, Suliotis), still in her early 20s, took the opera world by storm, with thrilling performances of Italian...

The headnote for this German confection of an operetta should actually read BENATSKY/STOLZ/GRANICHSTAEDTEN, for all three men, along with lyricist Robert Gilbert, contributed songs to the...

Although he is arguably the most recorded conductor of our time, with multiple releases every year on LSO Live and the Mariinsky Orchestra labels, Gergiev is...

From the perspective of being a bargain, it is hard to beat this release, at least as priced on Amazon. Other sites are selling it for...

The measure of Jonas Kaufmann’s dominance among current tenors is the fact that he has no fewer than three official accounts of Carmen —one audio, two...

This is a most welcome 25th-anniversary revival of the fabled 1988 San Francisco Opera production by Robert Carsen (which I saw live shortly thereafter when it...

Like Carl Heinrich Graun’s Montezuma that I review elsewhere in this issue, this recording is a remastered rerelease of a 1968 LP that was part of...

The superb English pianist Clifford Curzon (1907–1982) made three studio recordings of the Brahms First Piano Concerto. The recordings, all for Decca, span the eras of...

Fanfare contributors are at liberty to decline to review anything that comes their way unbidden and unwanted. The release at hand is such a case; it...

After the rave review I gave Kristóf Baráti and Klára Würtz for their complete Beethoven violin sonatas in 36:4, I was a bit nervous about reviewing...

When conductors “rethink” classic repertoire, it can be code for finding a way to care again. On the evidence of his first Brahms cycle with the...

Riccardo Chailly’s complete Beethoven symphonies have received critical acclaim, but I find his tempos to be consistently too fast, and more important, relentlessly rigid, resulting in...

If a single release can cause a musical era to coalesce, this new Brahms cycle may do that for Christian Thielemann. It feels, to me at...

Deutsche Grammophon has here gathered together in a boxed set a number of in-concert recordings of Christian Thielemann’s Brahms, dating from between 2011 and 2013, during...

Child prodigies on wind instruments are rare; evidently the very young lack the physical equipment that wind instruments require. The French clarinetist Raphaël Sévère was apparently...

Being great doesn’t always make music lovable, as a listener may discover when moving from Brahms’s first two piano trios, which bear the hallmarks of beloved...

These works and several others I’ve heard live and reviewed in recent years lead me to a tentative conclusion about the works of Braunfels: He was...

Braunfels had converted from Protestantism to Roman Catholicism in 1918, after serving on the front during World War I. When the Nazis came to power, however,...

Pyramus and Thisbe. We know the story from Ovid’s Metamorphoses and its parody in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Brescianello, by playing with the classic tragedy...

I’ve reviewed the work of Martin Bresnick (b. 1946) several times now, and each one has been a great satisfaction. Bresnick has spent most of his...

This fully packed issue is a compendium of bits and pieces of Britten’s string quartet output, rounding off the Emperor Quartet’s acclaimed recordings of the numbered...

Max Bruch found the popularity of his First Violin Concerto (“the” Bruch Concerto) irksome, believing his later concerted works for violin to be just as good....

Oehms Classics has a curious habit of competing with itself. A few years ago, an impressive Ring cycle from Sebastian Weigle in Frankfurt appeared almost simultaneously...

No, that is not a typo at the end of the headnote. This is, in fact, an 89-minute compact disc, and one that played well on...

As with so many recent recordings of this composer’s symphonies, here’s one that seems to ask the provocative question: Do you really have to be an...

To put it mildly, Bruckner hasn’t always been to the French taste—it would make a good musical trivia question to name the first recording of a...

After leading the Royal Concertgebouw over a span of 38 years in 276 concerts, Harnoncourt chose the Bruckner Fifth for his farewell appearance. To get to...

Sixty years ago I walked into a college “music appreciation” course, and the professor (a former Schnabel student) announced we would hear something entirely unfamiliar to...

In addition to being one of the foremost composers of his generation, Paul Hindemith (1895–1963) was an expert string player and accomplished conductor. Hindemith was, of...

True to his neo-Baroque stance as a composer, Paul Hindemith was a complete musical polymath of a sort one would have commonly encountered three or four...

Count on this group to find an obscure Mass by Antoine Brumel (c. 1460–1512/13). We already have Missa Bergerette savoyenne, Missa Et ecce terrae motus

Any recording devoted to the music of Brumel is of course welcome. There are few currently available, and of the Missa de beata virgine , only...

This continues the remarkable archival recovery New World has undertaken of American experimentalism of the Cageian sort. I’ve already reviewed multi-disc sets of music produced by...

In 1659 Francesco Cavalli was at the height of his powers as a composer of Venetian opera. Monteverdi had died over a decade before, and Cavalli’s...

Two classical musicians have rocketed from obscurity to become YouTube stars, pianists Simone Dinnerstein and Valentina Lisitsa. When you see that Dinnerstein’s most popular Bach video...

When Berlioz heard Chopin play some of his mazurkas, he admired them for their wealth of detail, remarking that the composer made the pieces “doubly interesting...

In her booklet notes to this release, Fialkowska discusses the mazurka at some length—both the dance and the genre itself, as well as Chopin’s contributions to...

I have been listening to Andrew Rangell’s discs with interest and pleasure ever since he made his first recordings for Dorian in the early 1990s. Bach...

The travails of Lazar Berman were as mighty as his technique. For long periods the Soviet authorities banned or restricted him from foreign travel, the first...

Everyone who harbors a passion for Chopin should have been awaiting this recital with bated breath, but they weren’t. Given her distinguished background, the Argentine pianist...

Volume 11 of Ian Hobson’s complete works of Chopin, The Way to Arcady, offers rich pickings. The by-now characteristic mix of the familiar and the unfamiliar...

The thread that ties together this program of Chopin, Liszt, and Brahms is poetry. By choosing to make her first CD with this focus, the young...

Not To
Be Missed!