Issue 38:3
Jan/Feb 2015
Magazine Contents

Classical Recordings Pg. 8

I’m afraid I can’t recommend this performance of the symphony. What seems to have been an exceptional account of the work by a 140-member youth orchestra...

The liner notes of this release brought me up short, stating that Telemann was “wearied by a crushing workload” in 1737, and “contemplated taking a break...

Last year the iconic early instrument group La Petite Band, founded and led by violinist Sigiswald Kuijken, had its long-standing subsidy from the Belgian government revoked,...

Who or what is "The Feed-Back," and why is it listed in the composer's position in the above headnote? Well, the name is actually a pseudonym...

In the history of German Protestant music, the organists in the city of Lübeck on the Baltic coast have played an extremely important role. While the...

The testament of memory is all that most concentration camp victims have, preserved in the minds of others, but the artists who were imprisoned in Theresienstadt...

The music of the tragic Czech composer Viktor Ullmann, his life cut short at Auschwitz at age 46, was written in a modern style even from...

Of the compositions of the five major “Entartete Musik” composers who perished in the Holocaust—Erwin Schulhoff, Gideon Klein, Hans Krása, Pavel Haas, and Viktor Ullman—Ullmann’s music...

The first thing that strikes you about this rather odd collection of Vaughan Williams masterworks—his heartfelt anti-war cantata, his most violent symphony, and the ubiquitous

Ralph Vaughan Williams, middle aged, was an ambulance driver in World War I. A man scarred by war is screaming for peace, begging for peace (...

The period between 1895 when, at the age of 23, Ralph Vaughan Williams completed his studies at the Royal College of Music and 1907, when he...

Russian conductor Gennady Rozhdestvensky was the principal conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra from 1978 to 1981. During that time he played a great deal of...

János Végh (1845–1918) was a prominent Hungarian composer and musical educator whose compositions include a violin sonata premiered by Jenö Hubay, two symphonies, a Mass, piano...

“Appear on stage with a huge hammer. Place it carefully on the instrument, visible to the audience and easy to reach. Near the end of the...

I agree that Jonas Kaufmann can sell a Blu-ray, but surely Sony’s contracted stud is not the sole reason to get this? It is marketed as...

These are splendid performances of songs that, except for Stornello and Deh, pietoso, oh addolorato, were strangers to me, and since the booklet only gives general...

EMI’s 1973 recording has been the standard for Giovanni d’Arco since its release, and this new recording does not change that situation. Giovanna d’Arco is probably...

Johannes Verhulst (1816–1891), born in the Hague, was perhaps the leading Dutch composer of his time, as well as a prominent Amsterdam conductor in the pre-Concertgebouw...

This recording is primarily of cultural and musicological rather than aesthetic interest. This is not to suggest that the music on it is in any way...

Unconventional, outside the box, sometimes inflammatory opera productions are a necessary alternative to traditional ones, if the medium is to remain vital. In no repertoire is...

Cluytens was a regular at Bayreuth before his premature death in 1967, at age 62. The Belgian-born French conductor still has a following, especially among those...

An alert. Those allergic to Regietheater— that trend in opera that some say had its beginnings at Bayreuth 50 years ago, where the director is king...

At a time when our most esteemed octogenarian conductors are fast slipping away, it’s surprising that Hans Knappertsbusch, the legendary Wagnerian of postwar Bayreuth, was only...

A standard Fanfare headnote would be nonsensical for this release; it would have to come with a Captain Marvel De-Coding Ring (yes, the “Ring” pun was...

Anyone who thinks Tannhäuser is second-rate Wagner just needs to hear the impeccably sculpted Overture here in the 1936 performance, under Bodanzky. The remarkable transfer means...

One has to wonder if there is any end to the enthusiasm of those folks over at Immortal Performances. The idea of the composite performance to...

Solti’s first Die Walküre ! Given the iconic status of his Vienna Ring cycle, the first release of this contemporaneous recording from Covent Garden is guaranteed...

William Walton’s Troilus and Cressida has, famously, been an “unlucky” opera (see James Miller’s review in Fanfare 35:3). Besides its problems with librettist, first conductor, and...

Walton wrote well for choral forces, brilliantly in fact (as we know from his oratorio Belshazzar’s Feast ), and orchestral music was certainly his métier. His...

Now that the music of Weinberg has become established—or, at least, is becoming established—as among the finest of his era, Melodiya has seen fit to issue...

Judith Weir is an English composer of Scottish heritage; she studied with Robin Holloway at Cambridge and Gunther Schuller at Tanglewood and has been a visiting...

Scott Wheeler (b. 1952) has been a continual “point of reference” for new music in Boston for decades, as composer, conductor, teacher. He has an enviable...

The recordings made by the legendary New York Wind Quintet in 1961 have been the benchmark for performances of Alec Wilder’s woodwind quintets ever since. The...

This CD is not quite the newly recorded collection of John Williams themes and suites that it appears to be. The selections were recorded at various...

I have to confess that prior to receiving this release for review, I don’t think I knew that Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari wrote a violin concerto; or, if...

Ernnano Wolf-Ferrari composed his only violin concerto in 1943, quite late in his career, inspired by the artistry of and possibly a personal attachment to the...

Pandora’s Last Gift is a compilation of Christopher Wright’s work over the years since 1985. The CD opens with the oldest piece, his wind quintet, which...

Born in Britain in 1954, Christopher Wright left a career as a full-time music teacher to devote himself completely to composition. I mention this only because...

A major shift in taste was required before Zemlinsky’s forgotten one-act opera Ein florentinische Tragödie rose from the grave. Because he was too close in style...

Above all, Zemlinsky was a superb orchestrator; no one ever equaled his ringing, golden tones. A Florentine Tragedy begins with an Overture that out-Strausses Strauss, a...

Salome, Elektra, Bluebeard’s Castle : The early years of the 20th century were a boom period for lurid one-act psychodramas. Zemlinsky’s 1916 Florentine Tragedy , one...

Tailor-made concertos for piano and violin appear here in premiere recordings by the soloists who inspired them. There is certainly a synergy here, with the composer,...

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