Unmoved by Bach’s St John Passion? Try listening to it in English…

David Temple introduces the first commercial recording in English since Britten’s in 1971 My first St John Passion was in the Barbican in 2011 with Crouch End Festival Chorus. It was in German, and with modern instruments at A=440. Though I was pleased with the performance, I was struck by the lukewarm response from the […]

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TAM HENDERSON: Reference Recordings

As fascinating as the design of high-end hardware can be, it goes without question that without musical software (or firmware, as our more computer-minded readers would have it) of an appropriately high standard, the whole business would be pointless. Stereophile’s interviews have therefore often featured engineers and producers whose recorded work reveals sound quality to […]

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GREIG: Chasing the Butterfly: Recreating Grieg’s 1903 Recordings and Beyond, classical CD of the week

  From the archives ….. Geoffrey Norris: This is a strange set, but a curiously compelling one as well. The Norwegian pianist Sigurd Slåttebrekk, in collaboration with the record producer Tony Harrison, has closely – not to say obsessively – examined the acoustic recordings that his fellow countryman Grieg made of nine of his own […]

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Jo Ann Kelly – The collection

  This is truly terrific stuff. If you love UK blues with a USA professionalism then I can’t recommend this highly enough. Click HERE for useful further information and a review I really agree with. I got mine very cheaply HERE but prices are now rising fast! Neil McCauley

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IAIN MATTHEWS: Mercy Street

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nDNvOw2re0 Viewer’s comments include: I have long been deeply moved by this atmospheric version by Iain. It’s so different from Peter Gabriel’s original, giving it a different mood and feel that is very memorable and stirring. Fans of this beautiful song will also enjoy the haunting version by the incomparable Fever Ray. Thanks for posting […]

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BEETHOVEN: The Gramophone guide to the best recordings

Introduction Beethoven truly felt that he was both sent by God and inspired by God. ‘Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy,’ he is quoted as saying. People approach Beethoven with a feeling of awe and reverence, an appropriate response to one of the supreme creative geniuses of history. Read full biography […]

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Music under Soviet rule: Vladimir Ashkenazy talks about Shostakovich

“Vladimir Ashkenazy was interviewed by John Stratford and John Riley in October 1991 while travelling by car to his hotel from Walthamstow Town Hall, where he had spent the day rehearsing the Eighth Symphony with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. This interview, conducted shortly before the attempted Communist coup which, backfiring, brought Boris Yeltsin to power, […]

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Vladimir Horowitz plays Rachmaninov’s Third Piano Concerto with the New York Philharmonic under Zubin Mehta at Avery Fisher Hall, New York in 1978.

Born in Russia, Horowitz emigrated in 1925 and in 1939 made his home in New York. His technical and flair won him a huge following and his concerts sold out within hours. He performed and recorded with Arturo Toscanini (who became his father-in-law). During his career he recorded for RCA, CBS and, late in life, […]

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BLUES MUSIC ON UK TV: First transmitted in 1985, this medley of the blues features Fred McDowell, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, Lead Belly and Billie Holiday.

Huddie Ledbetter – better known as ‘Lead Belly’ – performs ‘Pick a Bale of Cotton’, and Billie Holiday accompanied by Lester Young, Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster and Roy Eldridge, performs her own composition ‘Fine and Mellow’ Please click HERE for details

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