Issue 38:1
Sept/Oct 2014
Magazine Contents

Classical Recordings Pg. 6

Violinist Arabella Steinbacher proclaims her devotion to Mozart’s violin concertos in her booklet notes, stating that recording them has been a project she’s long thought about....

Mozart was a busy 16-year-old in 1772–73, producing everything on this program and much else, including four more Milanese quartets, named after the city where his...

Here we have a largely excellent performance of Don Giovanni ruined by the utterly ghastly voice of the Donna Anna. Hildegard Hillebrecht was a soprano known...

In a world where bizarre opera productions are now the norm, this one might take the prize for the oddest. Director Hans Neuenfels’s concept is to...

This is my second encounter with this compelling young Swiss-Italian pianist, and I continue to be impressed by his original, even iconoclastic, approach to standard repertoire....

This is a lovely album but, truly, not much more than that. Karina Gauvin, who quickly became one of my all-time favorite modern sopranos via an...

This Mozart CD is the first time I have encountered the singing of soprano Karina Gauvin, but she is apparently nearly an icon in her native...

Since 2011 Greek conductor Teodor Currentzis has been music director at the Opera and Ballet Theatre in Perm, Russia. Perm, a large city near the Siberian...

Best known as a violinist and as the longtime conductor of the Vienna New Year’s Day concerts, Willi Boskovsky made zestful recordings of Strauss waltzes and...

There are close to 125 entries for Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet currently listed, and of those, at least 25, or fully 20 percent, are coupled with Brahms’s...

Don’t let the above headnote lead you to believe that this is yet another alternative to the familiar Süssmayr completion of Mozart’s Requiem. It’s really not,...

OK, I have a few questions I’d like to ask of John Butt, the Dunedin Consort, and by inference every historically-informed player, singer, orchestra, and chorus...

Mariss Jansons is, or at least can be on occasion, one of our more interesting conductors. Here, shrugging off the historically informed practices that have ruined...

It’s been often pointed out that, with three or four exceptions, Mozart’s piano sonatas, as lovely, varied, and tuneful as they are, aren’t among his major...

I’ve always had a soft spot for Nikolaus Harnoncourt’s way with Mozart. Among “historically informed” conductors, he directs with unusual freedom and power, never seeming constrained...

So, I’m beginning to watch Part 4 of this Boris Godunov Blu-ray from a Munich production. This is the 1869 version of the opera, so it...

For the reader who, like myself, is unfamiliar with Italian pianist Federico Colli, I’ll mention a few biographical details. Born in Brescia in 1988, he studied...

My hat is off to the young (b. 1984) Ukrainian-Australian pianist Alexander Gavrylyuk. Given all the piano versions of Pictures at an Exhibition I’ve heard, it...

Somehow, despite (presumably) the loss of state subsidies, the Melodiya firm has managed to survive through the more than two decades since the dissolution of the...

These recordings have such electricity that I would have guessed that they are live performances. The booklet, however, suggests otherwise, listing simply “August 2012” as the...

Astor Piazzolla was the man behind the Tango Nuevo. Three Argentinean composers of the Nuevo Tango Nuevo program are the next generation (and possibly the one...

I won’t deny the sense of triumph I feel every time the prospect of a potential coup presents itself; the prospect of being the first to...

A timely arrival, this. At the end of April this year, I was lucky enough to attend a concert in honor of Michael Nyman’s 70th birthday...

Lynn René Bailey already reviewed this in issue 37:5. I’m a little late, given some family emergencies earlier this year, but I did want to weigh...

Vincent Persichetti (1915–87) was one of the most versatile and engaging composers of his generation. Largely remembered for his significant contributions to the concert band literature,...

Goffredo Petrassi was a significant Italian composer of the 20th century. His piano concerto, composed between 1936 and 1939, is a major work of his early...

Swedish composer Allan Pettersson (1911–1980) did not have a happy life. Born in Stockholm into a poor family, his father by all accounts, was a brutal,...

One must be in a special mood to get the most out of Allan Pettersson’s symphonies. His largely tonal musical language is not difficult, but the...

No one does depression like Pfitzner, the poet of the bipolar, whose impassioned mellifluousness can tempt one to fall in love with despair. Deeply affected by...

Ástor Pantaleón Piazzolla (1921–1992) was an Argentine bandoneon player and composer who revolutionized tango music. He brought it from its beginnings as a 19th- and early...

It’s a strange pairing we have, here. Pierné’s finely wrought piano quintet dates from 1916, when the composer, in his 50s, was mixing Massenet, Fauré, Debussy,...

From the Encyclopædia Britannica : “Symphonie concertante, Italian, sinfonia concertante, in music of the Classical period (c.1750–c.1820), a symphony employing two or more solo instruments. Though...

Although it would have been better to release this last year for the 50th anniversary of Poulenc’s death, Harmonia Mundi have been typically enterprising, pairing Poulenc’s...

Poulenc mélodies often fall into one of four expressive categories: the melancholic/sentimental (often characterized by steady eighth-note accompaniment and frequent minor-ninth chords), the manic/madcap (often involving...

The collapse of the Soviet Union had a belated effect on orchestras in the UK, planting Russian conductors in several major posts. The Ukrainian conductor Kirill...

This release, entitled Echoes from the Dark Years: Prokofiev and World War II , is a useful compilation of mostly little-known Prokofiev works connected with the...

What I expected, as I loaded this Blu-ray disc into the player, was another middle-of-the-road production of Madama Butterfly . I didn’t know the singers, wasn’t...

Voces8 is an (of course) eight-member group whose repertoire ranges from “Renaissance polyphony to unique jazz and pop arrangements.” Here they are joined with the distinguished...

There seems of late to be a trend whereby Baroque music is adapted, rearranged, stretched out, reformulated, and even ripped apart through performance within modern media...

What an odd release this is! First, its physical layout is unmanageable for most collectors: two discs laid out vertically on top of each other in...

This release regrettably falls short of the mark. There is no doubting that the Netherlands Radio Choir is a top-notch choral ensemble, or that conductor Kaspars...

Here, under the generic title Ingenious Opposites Volume 2 , is the follow-up to Zaslavsky’s Schumann-Liszt recital reviewed in Fanfare 36:5. Impressive though that first installment...

There’s a sad musical footnote to Bobby Fischer’s epic battle to defeat Boris Spassky for the world chess championship in 1972. The cantankerous American prodigy had...

Rachmaninoff’s works for two pianos span his entire career, especially when one includes the 1891 Russian Rhapsody , written when the composer was only 18. The...

Here is a jam-packed disc—over 80 minutes’ worth—of Raff, including some rarities. The composer’s symphonies are reasonably well-represented on disc with competing, if ageing, recordings by...

This is the second release in a presumed Chandos cycle of the complete symphonies of Joachim Raff coupled with obscure shorter works, conducted by Neeme Järvi....

Now in his third season as music director of the Seattle Symphony, Ludovic Morlot (b. 1974) succeeded Gerard Schwarz on the podium following Schwarz’s 26-year tenure,...

Here is still another American orchestra that has approached the problem of not being able to secure a recording contract from a major company by forming...