Issue 39:1
Sept/Oct 2015
Magazine Contents

Classical Recordings Pg. 7

I am guessing that this is the first disc of two or three, because Johan Helmich Roman (1694–1758) composed a dozen sonatas for flute and basso...

Did you know that the Teatro di San Marco, Naples is only seven kilometers (about 4.3 miles) from the international airport? I’ve never visited Naples, and...

I must confess that when, perhaps 40 years ago, unprepared, I first heard the opening Kyrie of Rossini’s not-so-petite and not-always-solemn Mass on a recording, I...

Anyone seriously concerned about the status and future of classical music should hear this CD. Anyone seriously interested in significant instrumental music and performance would do...

Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho rarely disappoints. Her luxuriantly forlorn music, always intense but darkly restrained in its drama, is especially suited to an expression of the...

Although this is a Keith Johnson recording, and Reference Recordings is known for its up-to-date soundstage, the release is listed as 24-BIT HDCD, not as SACD....

The composer, pianist, and musical critic Gustave Samazeuilh (1877–1967) may be a forgotten figure nowadays, but he was far from unknown during his lifetime. Born into...

Philip Sawyers (b. 1951) is an English composer who worked as a violinist in the Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden, for over two decades. His...

This is a rather strange recording, and performance, in a number of ways. To begin with, it is indeed a live performance, but a radio-studio performance...

This is the debut recording of Nickolai Sheikov, a Bulgarian-born harpsichordist who has studied in both America (with John Gibbons) and in Europe (with Gustav Leonhardt)....

Bad news first: While Willy Honegger’s orchestration of the Sonata for Bass Clarinet and Piano is new to discs, it swaddles its quirkiness. For instance, the...

Two of the works on this album from the adventurous duet pianists Norie Takahashi and Björn Lehmann are intellectually daunting. Following Beethoven’s three complexes of dense...

Confession time: About two years ago I reviewed an album of music by Wagner on the Capriccio label: arias from Tannhäuser and Tristan, the Wesendonck Lieder,...

Nikolaus Harnoncourt’s mind has always been filled with curiosity and provocation, two qualities that have kept him vigorous and young. Here in 2009, on the verge...

When it comes to Schubert sung by a female, no singer has the effect on me that Elly Ameling has. Hers is a limpid lyric soprano...

French pianist François Chaplin, previously unknown to me, is an active performer and teacher in Europe, and has made award-winning recordings of Debussy’s complete piano music...

Among Schubert’s two great narrative song cycles, Die schöne Müllerin (1823), and Winterreise (1827), it is the latter most frequently performed as an intense psychological drama....

We do not associate András Schiff with fortepianos, but earlier in his career he played (and recorded) fortepianos that had been in the possession of Mozart...

In the fall of 2012, ECM release András Schiff’s Diabelli Variations , on which he played the gargantuan variation set twice, once on modern piano and...

In re-examining and reinterpretating the music that he plays, András Schiff’s openness to new approaches is part of what makes him one of today’s greatest pianists....

Ah, premiere recordings of more Baroque recorder sonatas—a genre for which I have a seemingly bottomless appetite. In this instance, however, there is a mystery as...

My first reaction upon receiving this release for review, before actually listening to it, was that this young Russian-born pianist (b. 1984)—who moved with his family...

How meticulous should complete cycles be? The ongoing Schumann piano cycle by Florian Uhlig aims to leave no note unturned. Every edition of every piece is...

So far as I can ascertain, this is only the fifth recording ever made of the C Minor Quartet. The pioneering effort, an RCA release recorded...

I would say this set of Schumann symphonies is an exciting disappointment—except for the fact that I didn’t know what to expect. The Odense Symphony is...

With the appearance of this disc, volume 11 in the planned complete Heinrich Schütz edition of Carus, all of the composer’s large-scale compositions have been issued...

Unlike their predecessors in the genre, the radically difficult études of Chopin, Scriabin’s excursion into this traditional pianistic territory is largely concerned with rhythmic challenges. Indeed,...

Necessarily, this review will be very short because this is simply a reissuing of the original four double jewel case releases of the Pacifica Quartet’s Shostakovich...

Prior to this release, and with the exception of a disc containing three Haydn quartets, the Britain-based Carducci Quartet had focused on out-of-the-ordinary repertoire—the quartets of...

Few musical scores have had the historical import of the Shostakovich Seventh, which became a symbol of Russian resistance to the Nazis in the face of...

Based on Paavo Järvi’s recordings of the Beethoven symphonies, it would be reasonable to expect fast tempos, lean instrumental textures, and a generally intense and muscular...

Pentatone’s multi-conductor Shostakovich cycle passes its mid-point with this new Seventh. And the first thing you’re apt to notice is the exceptional sound—exceptional both in the...

For anyone who lamented that Karajan recorded only one Shostakovich symphony, the Tenth, Valery Gergiev could be adopted as the new Karajan of Shostakovich. His ongoing...

Finland in the late 19th century had a well established tradition of a cappella choral music, one to which Sibelius contributed substantially throughout his career. This...

The main work on this program is known as Four Legends from the Kalevala as well as the Lemminkäinen Suite , but Ondine opts for

This is the third version of the Lemminkäinen Suite to appear on the Ondine label; the others were by Leif Segerstam and Mikko Franck. (See my...

Ever since I can remember, Sibelius’s Second Symphony has been at or very near the top of my list of favorite symphonies; and judging by the...

Danish conductor Thomas Søndergård presides over an easygoing reading of the Second Symphony. Not that his tempos are relaxed—they are actually fairly fleet. But the performance...

I suppose you can release a CD with a timing under 50 minutes without a qualm if you are a critical darling like the Pavel Haas...

The concluding installment in Griffiths’s cycle of the symphonies of Louis Spohr gives us two program symphonies from late in his life, the Seventh of 1841...

It would seem to me that a large part of the value of Fanfare is its status as a platform to bring to the attention of...

Great joy! Excuse my uncharacteristic enthusiasm (we are instructed to use exclamation points Über-sparingly here at Fanfare Towers) but this is Volume One of a series...

Ariadne auf Naxos was Karl Böhm’s favorite Strauss opera, along with Elektra , and it shows in DG’s studio recording from 1969. He lavishes the sort...

Richard Strauss called Dresden an “El Dorado for world premieres,” and it certainly was for him—nine of his 15 operas received their first staging there. But...

Performed virtually uncut, as here, Richard Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier (The Knight of the Rose) could be more justifiably titled the Baron Ochs story. In fact, something...

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