Issue 38:1
Sept/Oct 2014
Magazine Contents

Classical Recordings

I have had mixed feelings about the music of Thomas Adès in the past, particularly his operatic version of Shakespeare’s The Tempest . There is no...

CPO’s series dedicated to the symphonic works of Hendrik Andriessen (1892–1981) continues with this second release. The composer’s aesthetic goals didn’t change throughout his professional career,...

Milton Babbitt (1916–2011) is the composer that many love to hate. He of course has his committed defenders, but they are a distinct minority. My opening...

Having adjusted my ears over the years to the specific style of playing C. P. E. Bach’s keyboard concertos presented by Miklos Spányi on BIS, I...

Carl Philip Emanuel Bach was by any stretch of the imagination one of the leading composers of Lieder during the 18th century, with over 250 to...

This music was a huge disappointment for me. I expected great things but only heard intermittent flashes of brilliance in the writing. The problems, it turns...

What excellent performances these are! And how good the sound is! On good speakers, you’d almost swear than Schayegh and Halubek were in the room with...

The record companies’ penchant for putting old wine in new bottles sometimes pays off big. Other times, you get a flop or a mixed bag. This...

Many years ago, in the early 1990s, I acquired wonderful performances of C. P. E. Bach symphonies with this same conductor and orchestra—the symphonies in G,...

Anyone of a certain age reading this will be familiar with these iconic mid-1950s to early 1960s recordings originally released on Arkiv LPs. Moreover, anyone familiar...

How’s this for a coincidence? The day before this set arrived from Tenafly I ordered the Freiburger Barockorchester’s 2000 EuroArts video of the Brandenburg Concertos

By the time you read this, Rondeau’s 10-disc series of Bach’s cantatas should be complete and available, but it’s possible now to make a few generalizations...

This disc features cantatas for, what its title describes as, Trinity-Palmarum , the German Lutheran term for Palm Sunday. My first impression on hearing the disc...

Like every other Golden Age pianist, Ferruccio Busoni romped in the playground of transcriptions, batting around other composers’ tunes in the spirit of competitive gamesmanship. The...

John Eliot Gardiner’s inspired programming here combines Bach’s Actus Tragicus —Cantata 106—with the Easter Oratorio —but not in cover (or headnote) order. The exquisite and early...

Grigory Sokolov seems to have a mysterious aura which surrounds him. Having won the International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in 1966 at the ripe old age of...

A Lutheran Mass consists of just the Kyrie and Gloria, which were still sung in Latin more than a century after the Reformation began. (The Credo...

I couldn’t help but compare the presentation and production of this release to the six-disc Karl Richter commemorative collection on Profil, which I just finished reviewing,...

Initially, I thought that these were new recordings, or at least newish, as Puyana passed away in March 2013 at the age of 81. Actually, these...

Australian-born Peter Watchorn (b. 1957) is apparently a well-established harpsichordist, builder of harpsichords, and scholar who has done extensive research into the keyboard music of the...

As a keyboardist, Johann Sebastian Bach clearly deserves the renown that he attained even during his lifetime, for his compositions and facile playing style. Although much...

This has to be not only the weirdest performance of any Bach choral work I’ve ever heard in my life, but also the weirdest historically informed...

To begin with, it was nice to hear a historically informed performance that did not sound as if it were being played and sung by MIDIs....

This is the same performance George Chien reviewed in 37:4 in its SACD format, less the accompanying DVD of interviews and rehearsal clips. As Chien noted,...

This is obviously a self-produced CD and, according to Vincent Craig’s website (vcraig7066.wix.com/vincentcraigpiano), it appears to be his first. Dr. Craig earned his Bachelor’s degree from...

It is perhaps a truism that virtually all so-called great composers had a special preference for the viola as their instrument of choice, even though they...

Iskandar Widjaja’s program of Bach’s music includes an unaccompanied sonata (the Third), an unaccompanied partita (the Second), the canonical Violin Concerto in A Minor, and the...

The six cello suites by Johann Sebastian Bach have reached a sort of iconic status. For cellists, they represent probably an apex in the solo literature,...

This CD will be a must-have for Samuel Barber aficionados, with lovely solo piano music (plus one four-hand work) spanning the composer’s entire career. Truth be...

Jenő Jandó has been Naxos’s house pianist for decades, recording the sonatas and concertos of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven; cutting wide swaths through Liszt, Schubert, Schumann,...

Expectations run high for a new Bluebeard , a work that has been recorded often enough, and recently enough—Marin Alsop/Naxos (2007), Valery Gergiev/LSO Live (2009), Ádám...

The three piano quartets on this disc were composed and premiered in Madrid in the 1930s. The influence on the two younger composers of Stravinsky, and...

The cellist-cum-conductor Heinrich Schiff leads two Beethoven piano concertos in performances that alternate between anemia and life support. I don’t know the young Viennese pianist Stefan...

This is my first encounter with Fazil Say since his kamikaze raid on three other Beethoven sonatas—the “Tempest,” “Waldstein,” and “Appassionata”—going on 10 years ago now....

It’s a pleasure to audition CDs that stand out from the crowd, regardless of the reason, and this pair from Warner Classics certainly does that. Johannes...

Feltsman’s elder statesman recordings for Nimbus continue to delight. I have not heard the Russian repertoire (Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Scriabin) that are included in this series, but...

Fidelio isn’t just an opera that took Beethoven nine years and three tries to turn into a masterpiece. It is a manifesto for the freedom of...

Here, repackaged in a single box containing eight discs, is the Belcea Quartet’s complete Beethoven string quartet cycle, previously released in two separate boxes of four...

Quite a few of Vadim Repin’s CDs grace my shelves, and I’ve had occasion in issues past to praise the violinist’s playing. But sitting before me...

Since this is the sixth in the Perspectives series that Andreas Haefliger inaugurated in 2004, we’ve become familiar with the format as well as the pianist’s...

The final movement of the “Tempest” Sonata (No. 17) is a moto perpetuo whose catchy, recurring main theme makes it sound like a rondo, but in...

The program notes to this album urge us to hear three familiar Beethoven sonatas as if we were present in their original audience between 1801 (the...

Dina Ugorskaja, the daughter of the pianist Anatol Ugorski, is a Russian pianist and composer trained in Germany. Early in her career, she has already recorded...

Violinist Elizabeth Wallfisch and pianist David Breitman play the first five of Beethoven’s violin sonatas (a second volume will be forthcoming) on a 1997 copy of...

“Liv Migdal is considered one of the outstanding violinists of her generation.” So begin the trite liner notes for this disc. Well, gee whiz, Mr. Science,...

This latest disc in the series of Beethoven symphonies that the Macau-born conductor Yondani Butt has been recording with the London Symphony Orchestra may cause one...

The more things change, the more they stay the same. That was my reaction when listening to this fine set of Beethoven overtures and symphonies as...

Beethoven on period instruments is no longer as remarkable as it was even in the not-so-distant past. Several complete sets of the symphonies and individual recordings...