Classical Music Composers
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Friday 19 November 2010
Under the inspired direction of Jeanette Sorrell, Apollo's Fire has become one of the pre-eminent period-instrument ensembles, causing one to hear familiar baroque material anew – as in the arrangement here of "Summer" from "The Four Seasons" for solo harpsichord with string ensemble.
Sunday 12 September 2010
Friday 10 September 2010
René Jacobs ongoing coverage of the entire Mozart opera oeuvre continues with The Magic Flute, performed as usual with the RIAS Kammerchor and Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin.
Sunday 05 September 2010
The single string quartet is something of a French tradition.
Sunday 29 August 2010
Though Janácek provides the title for Ivana Gavric's recital, Schubert is its centrepiece.
Friday 06 August 2010
This new version of Carmina Burana has been praised for its stripped-down approach, which eliminates some of its cod-medievalism. But like Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, it's that primeval spirit which gives Orff's masterwork much of its mythopoeic appeal.
Sunday 01 August 2010
The third volume of Cooper's series covers the lightest and darkest of Schubert's works for solo piano, from delectable salon miniatures (12 Deutsche Tänze) to the harrowing A minor Sonata, D784, and the epic narrative of the B flat major Sonata, D960.
Friday 09 July 2010
Richard Eyre’s rather tired staging of Verdi’s La Traviata is where it all began for Gheorghiu and her fabulous instrument still makes comparatively light of Violetta’s emotive pyrotechnics.
Friday 02 July 2010
Ashkenazy here follows his acclaimed version of the 48 Preludes and Fugues of The Well-Tempered Clavier with another cornerstone of baroque keyboard endeavour, the six Bach Partitas "prepared for the soul's delight of music-lovers", according to the composer's own rubric.
Friday 14 May 2010
Not for Yuja Wang the mandatory selection of Chopin preludes and ballades; instead, she's chosen a theme, Transformation, here realised in various forms: most obviously, Brahms' famously tortuous Variations on a Theme by Paganini, but also Ravel's deconstruction of the waltz in La Valse, and most impressively, the gradual humanisation of the puppet in Stravinsky's Petrushka (and its subsequent reversion to wood). Wang's command and artistry is never in doubt right from the opening Allegro Giusto section, described in delicate little left-hand runs against a pointilliste upper-register, the combination lifting the piece in a weightless, dizzying dance.
Friday 23 April 2010
The Borodin Quartet is now well into its seventh decade, the latest replenishment in its ranks being cellist Vladimir Balshin, whose first recording is this trio of distinctively Russian pieces by Borodin, Stravinsky and Myaskovsky.
Sunday 31 January 2010
Performance style in Brahms has lately become as hotly contested an issue as it once was in Bach, with Mackerras arguing for impetuous speed changes and Gardiner so busy identifying thematic strata that the topography is blurred.
Sunday 24 January 2010
This is an a typically uneven recital from Bernarda Fink.
Sunday 24 January 2010
Best known for a startling reimagining of Ravel's Bolero, Jos van Immerseel's provocative period-instruments orchestra turns to Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique.
Friday 22 January 2010
Time was when a composer's centenary felt like a significant event, but these days anniversaries are ten-a-penny, because they're such a wonderful crutch for programmers to lean on. When in doubt – and today's programmers at the BBC, South Bank, Barbican, etc are chronically in doubt – reach for a 100th, 150th, or 350th. It can be a birth or a death, so we're in for two doses of Mahler, whose birth 150 years ago is being celebrated this year, and whose death in 1911 will doubtless be commemorated next year.
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