Issue 38:5
May/June 2015
Magazine Contents

Classical Recordings

Beethoven’s sonatas for cello and piano are famously magical. In some sense they are an apex of the form, and stretch the capabilities of tonal coherency...

Approaching this Lulu made me a bit reluctant to begin watching, simply because the photos from the production show the title character in the most provocative...

Who’s going to complain about a Regietheater Lulu ? The usual Luddite clichés surely don’t apply here—if you want an evening at the opera to be...

Berio’s Sinfonia has a vexed recording history. In terms of sheer conviction—the ability to convey the power of the music’s bracingly messy 1960s aesthetic, the ability...

In context, the musical works of John Daniel Berlin (1714–1787) were only a small part of a very civic-minded life. He arrived in Trondheim in 1737...

Harold en Italie is a melancholy work that grew out of heat and passion. The heat was in the dog days of summer in Rome, where...

At age 33, Nico Muhly must be counted among the more successful young composers in history: a catalog of more than 100 works, an opera performed...

Thomas Beecham said of a Mozart opera he was recording, “At the very end there is a hell of a row.” There is a hell of...

Matti Borg (b. 1956) apparently studied to be a singer at the Royal Danish Academy of Music before he became a composer, and this is clearly...

I received this opera for review days before one arrived that had been composed by the celebrated Reinhard Keiser—the irony being that Christian Ludwig Boxberg (1670–1729)...

If I hadn’t just finished reviewing a Gramola CD of works by Charles Koechlin and Louis Vierne that runs over 88 minutes, I probably wouldn’t have...

Hideko Udagawa recorded Brahms’s and Bruch’s (first) violin concertos in Henry Wood Hall on May 21 and 23, 1989, and Chandos released them on CHAN 8974...

The West had already heard luminous reports about the Borodin Quartet, formed in 1953, before the Soviet authorities allowed it to travel outside Russia. The present...

For a long time French Brahms on disc was about as uncommon as French sauerbraten. I remember being shocked when the Capuçon brothers—violinist Renaud and cellist...

For Irish pianist Barry Douglas, playing Brahms must be how he follows his bliss. After winning gold in the 1986 Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, he recorded...

In 36:6, in a generally positive review of Jonathan Plowright’s first volume in a projected complete survey of Brahms’s piano music, I expressed minor reservations relating...

Brahms announced his genius with three epic piano sonatas written before he was 20. Embracing rhapsody and fantasy at their most soaring, early Brahms piano writing...

This live Brahms cycle hovers around Günter Wand’s 80th birthday in 1992, and it constitutes a reissue in Profil’s extensive Wand Edition . The original release...

There is no entry in the Fanfare Archive under Trio Talweg or Talweg Trio. A web site address of triotalweg.com is given for the ensemble in...

The excellent Norwegian guitarist Stein-Erik Olsen has put together a program of concertos by composers who also play (or played) the instrument. Leo Brouwer (b. 1939)...

It’s sunny days for collecting the standard repertoire on video, thanks to Blu-ray, surround sound, and state-of-the-art engineering by European arts television. Almost any concert broadcast...

Produced in 2013 by UNITEL in cooperation with Semperoper Dresden and Classica, this DVD follows a much-praised Bruckner Symphony No. 8 from these forces and, prior...

After my experience reviewing Venzago’s recording of Bruckner’s Ninth (see Fanfare 37:6), and in the course of listening to several other installments in this now completed...

This very lovely but somewhat reserved Bruckner Sixth may contain a lesson in sonority as interesting as those discoverable in exploring the thematic struggles and blueprint...

Either the German music press has strange ways of praising a performance or something went haywire in translation, because a Hamburg reviewer called this live Bruckner...

The fact that this live Bruckner Eighth comes from the Philharmonie reminds me that Karajan was painstaking—some might say obsessive—about videotaped concerts. He fiddled with them...

In its four previous releases devoted to the orchestral music of Swiss composer, pianist, and conductor Friz Brun, Guild has focused primarily upon his symphonies, covering...

This disc is Vol. 1 in a fairly lengthy and remarkable set of records, on a label whose primary focus is classical music and little else,...

This is Vol. 2 of the Robbie Burns project at Linn Records, and like the first installment it presents Burns’s songs (some set to original melodies,...

Vol. 4 of the complete Burns songs is a perfect example why I chose to review them separately rather than in a group. There are different...

This, Vol. 11 of the Robert Burns series of albums, is spread over two physical CDs if you acquire them that way. Again, there are many...

I count 26 versions of this set of seven cantatas meditating on the wounds of the crucified Savior. The only recording in the LP era had...

I was misinformed in writing ( Fanfare 37:6) that the seventh and eighth sets of this series were the last, for two final issues (three well-filled...

Coming so soon after Martin Baker’s version of all three Masses of William Byrd ( Fanfare 38:3), Herreweghe’s version of the Mass for Five Voices must...

You come home after a hard day at work, make your dinner, and do your chores. Later on, after you’ve unloaded the dishwasher and put the...

An associate professor of piano at Butler University, a founding member of the Oracle Trio, and a touring solo recitalist, Kate Boyd spent much of 2012...

Bartolomeo Campagnoli (1751–1827) appears twice in the Fanfare Archive, once in 22:3 when Robert Maxham reviewed a Dynamic release of flute and violin concertos by the...

A number of Fanfare reviewers, me included, have reacted enthusiastically to the rediscovery of Russian pianist Vera Gornostaeva (born 1929, still active as a teacher). She...

If you want to save shelf space, collect the complete Chopin of Schnabel, Serkin, and Brendel. It won’t take up more than a few inches. There...

Chopin pianists are a breed apart. Sovereign technique must be taken for granted. Yet Chopin playing never can be mere bravura. Of all the great composers,...

The pianino was a short-stringed upright piano popular in Chopin’s day for home use. He had one in his house in addition to a grand piano....

David Stanhope plays here in virtuosic fashion both Chopin’s Études and Godowsky’s Studies on Chopin’s Études, the later composer’s prickly commentary on those very short masterpieces....

The late New York Times critic and piano authority Harold C. Schonberg is quoted about Earl Wild’s set of Chopin nocturnes: “It’s the finest collection of...

Who says current pianists don’t exhibit temperament? Andrew Tyson is praised for independent spirit. It often sounds like whimsy to me. The First Prelude here is...

The piano is a given in all of Chopin’s works, and in all but a handful of them, the piano is the only instrument. In fewer...

There is a fairly general agreement that Magda Olivero was the Adriana of her time (and, perhaps, every other time as well). Even the composer thought...

One of my very first reviews for Fanfare back in 27:2 dealt with a disc of keyboard works by François Couperin, “Le grand,” performed on piano...

Since the pioneering days of Wanda Landowska, Sylvia Marlowe, and Ralph Kirkpatrick, composers have been drawn sporadically to the rarified sounds of the harpsichord. Compared with...

Once again I am writing about a CD which I helped produce, this time as booklet editor. ( Nota bene : The only compensation received was...

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