BEETHOVEN: Why Beethoven tugs at the heart strings: The rhythms of the German composer’s music may have been prompted by a …

Roger Dobson writes: Beethoven’s music may really have come from the heart. The composer may have been suffering from a heart rhythm disorder, arrhythmia, which is reflected in his works, researchers say. And the irregular heartbeat sensations he felt – and his increased sensitivity due to deafness – could be literally at the heart of […]

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SCHUBERT: Ferocious, tender, sublime

From the archive; Tom Service writes: The simple facts of Franz Schubert’s life shed little light on the enormous emotional range of his music, and the seismic effect his work has had. Living almost entirely in his home town of Vienna, he was a loyal but occasionally cantankerous and drunk friend to a tight-knit groups of […]

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Quill

VAUGHAN WILLIAMS: Philip Dukes / James Gilchrist / Anna Tilbrook Songs of Travel – Songs and Chamber Works

This Vaughan Williams recital makes an unusually satisfying impression, and it may not be immediately clear why. There’s quite a bit of unfamiliar material, some of it in unusual versions for which there was no pressing need. But the whole thing hangs together, creates a mood of intimacy, and draws you into the composer’s world. […]

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SCHUMANN: Scenes from Goethe’s Faust CD review – deeply impressive

Andrew Clements writes ….. Even Schumann’s greatest admirers – and I’d count myself among them – would never claim that his choral music is the most significant or rewarding part of his output. But Scenes from Goethe’s Faust, which he worked on for a decade and completed in 1853, a few months before his final […]

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BYRD / BRITTEN: Choral Music CD review – warm sounds, if not always sharply defined

Kate Molleson writes ….. William Byrd was a Catholic in the service of an Anglican monarch; Benjamin Britten was a gay pacifist in second world war England. It never hurts to remember how many of the artists we end up deifying faced some kind of bigotry in their day. This album presents the two composers […]

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We asked our readers, ‘what classical recording are you most proud to own?’ These are the fascinating results…

We know that we have a passionate and knowledgeable community of readers and followers on Facebook and Twitter, but even so we were delighted with the response we received last week when we asked the question ‘what classical recording are you most proud to own?’ Listed below are the most popular responses we received. Would […]

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SCHUBERT: His life and work

  An essential guide to the greatest Schubert recordings, featuring 50 original Gramophone reviews, and a landmark series of three articles (‘The complete guide to Franz Schubert’), appearing online for the first time, which explore every aspect of Schubert’s extraordinary output and much more besides! Please click HERE to view  

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ELGAR / BAX: For the Fallen CD review – a special, spacious inevitability

Andrew Clements writes ….. The latest addition to Mark Elder’s British music series continues his exploration of Elgar with a couple of the works composed during the first world war. A Voice in the Wilderness is one of a triptych of small-scale pieces with narrator that Elgar composed between 1914 and 1917 (all of them […]

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VIVALDI: Bassoon Concertos Vol 3 – review Sergio Azzolini (bassoon), L’aura Soave Cremona (Naive)

Nicholas Kenyon writes as follows: “There are zillions of violin concertos by Vivaldi, but it’s a surprise to find so many for the bassoon, at that time a relatively undeveloped instrument. Possibly written for a court player, or for an undiscovered virtuoso girl at the Pietà, the reason for them remains a mystery. The five […]

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Bartók: Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion CD review – deft playing of most tuneful material

  Kate Molleson writes … Cédric Tiberghien’s Bartók series has been an ear-opener – expressive and sharp-witted performances that clinch the music’s essence in original terms. The French pianist has saved some of Bartók’s most straight-up tuneful material for last, and this instalment includes the Three Hungarian Folksongs from the Csík District (melodies Bartók learned […]

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