Robert Radecke: Piano Trios

Radecke was a skilled player of the pianoforte, organ and violin — the sleeve notes report he was a “sensation” when he played Beethoven in Berlin. He was top in his class at Leipzig Conservatory and as a reward played a Schumann piece to the composer himself, remaining friends with him afterwards. He also greatly […]

Bleeker: Erase You

Bleeker are a Canadian trio and this album is as polite and well-behaved as the national clichés have it. Opener Highway is somewhat of an imposter and kicks things off in misleading fashion. It’s a sleazy glam stomper, with scuzzy if polished riffs and a throbbing bass. It was, the internet reports, played at the […]

Tchaikovsky: 12 Morceaux

We always like programmes like this: though it’s Tchaikovsky it’s (i) not too highbrow and (ii) was written for commercial reasons; these two factors make a review easier. Tchaikovsky wrote music for the piano throughout much of his life, mostly as pieces aimed at the amateur — back in those days, composers earned money selling […]

Emmerich Kalmain: Die Bajadere

This is an enjoyable CD, presenting an operetta that was first performed in the early jazz age, and combines Hungarian folk tunes, Viennese waltzes, popular American dance rhythms, and exotic moments suggesting distant India — bayaderes are Indian temple dancers — as well as snatches of various national anthems. The main story is of an […]

David Lumsdaine and Nicola LeFanu: Mandala 3

A mandala (Sanskrit, circle) is a ritual symbol in Hinduism and Buddhism, representing the universe, and the sleeve of the CD bears a modern interpretation of this. The sleeve notes indicate that it’s about big topics: life, death and the other thing as Douglas Adams wrote. Lumsdaine and LeFanu clearly like the imagery (mandalas created […]

Ed Sheeran: ÷

The Review Corner saw Sheeran on an early tour, in a venue so small he didn’t need screens for the fans and we were able to get near the front. While we found the music a bit bland, as a performer he was impressive — confident, talented, good with his fans and very clever; not […]

Vera Lynn: Her Greatest From Abbey Road

Dame Vera comes from a different age, when there was less choice in entertainment and people wanted nice songs they could sing to in the front room (while watering the aspidistra) or down the pub. She’s had a long and successful career — she began performing at seven, her first radio broadcast was with the […]