Niels Rønsholdt: Songs of Doubt

This is a remarkable CD. It’s not for anyone who thinks Ed Sheeran produces complex songs but it’s a powerful and affecting work that should appeal to classical and electronic pop fans alike. The sound is somewhere between Martin Grech’s Open Heart Zoo, still a classic album (came out in 2002, the music was more […]

Basco: Interesting Times

Basco are a Danish folk band playing complex Celtic-influenced folk with added accordion, the latter contributing a touch of whimsy. The band is Ale Carr (cittern), Andrea Tophoj (violin, viola), Hal Parfitt-Murray (violin mandolin, vocals) and Anders Ringgaard Andersen (accordion, trombone) so the instrumentation means they sound like a less driven Seth Lakeman, and with […]

Lindsey Buckingham / Christine McVie (self titled)

Tango In The Night was pretty much Buckingham / McVie —Stevie Nicks and Mick Fleetwood were banished to a mobile home because of drugs issues, John McVie was off drinking — so we had high hopes for this. Oh well. Buckingham / McVie are talented songwriters who’ve been doing this for donkey’s, and Buckingham is […]

Anthony Goldstone: The Piano at the Ballet

You get one piano transcription of orchestral scores and another two turn up. Like buses, piano transcriptions. A couple of weeks ago we had Enigmas, the work of Elgar; last week it was an excellent disc of performances of Mussorgsky, now this. On one hand it’s a charming piece of entertainment, in which complex music […]

Randall Thompson: Symphony No.2

Thompson is known as one of the most-performed American composers of choral music, notable for writing that is approachable to both audiences and choirs. The Second Symphony is “an excellent example” of what the composer was capable of when not composing for voices, say the sleeve notes. We say it’s ideal if you want to […]

Twelfth Day: Cracks in the Room

This slightly left-field folk album might take you unawares at first, as Twelfth Day play standard folk subtly melded with jazz and classical — some parts are more akin to chamber music – with added eccentricity thrown in. Twelfth Day is Catriona Price, a singer and fiddler from Orkney, and Esther Swift, singer and harpist […]

Booker T and the MGs, Carla Thomas, Stax Classics

Released as part of Stax Records’ 60th anniversary celebration, the Stax Classics series highlights some the label’s biggest stars from the 1960s and 70s, budget-priced albums offering a dozen songs that “transcend the obvious hits”, as the PR says. This week, we’ve got two to review. Booker T and the MGs were the house band […]

Elspeth Wyllie: Enigmas

This delightful album is out to coincide with Elgar’s 160th birthday on 2nd June, and it’s a recording of solo piano and chamber works, featuring Worcester’s most famous son’s own solo piano transcription of Enigma Variations. The Review Corner are big fans of Elgar, having lived in Malvern, not too far from his grave at […]

Bechara El-Khoury: Orages

We normally distrust modern music that opens with a discordant, explosive crash of instruments, as it’s usually the start of something “challenging”, that only the most arty can understand. In this case it’s OK, because “Orages” is foreign for “storms”, and El-Khoury is describing the storms of his native Lebanon. They must be big buggers. […]