Sonia Rubinsky: JS Bach, Magna Sequentia II, A Grand Suite of Dances

Rubinsky has compiled this CD so it’s not in any order Bach would have recognised. There are 17 segments in a sequence, selected by Rubinsky to make an “expanded Baroque dance suite” as the sleeve notes explain. This rather explains the album: 17 pieces of music linked in some way, mostly dances. They are selected […]

Ian Krouse: Armenian Requiem

This is a powerful work; perhaps too powerful for some; while it has some beautiful moments, it can also be imposing. Aficionados of choral work will undoubtedly appreciate the power and technical skill, however. It was composed to mark the centenary of the Armenian genocide of 1915, and is an ambitious sacred work built around […]

Jonathan Östlund: Voyages

We always thought that if the fairies — and they do exist —wanted someone to play a gig, they’d get Östlund. He writes music that’s not wishy-washy or fey (the fey being a less pleasant race than the fairies to boot) but is ethereal and creates the atmosphere of being half-formed, in the sense of […]

Cipriano de Rore: Missa Vivat Felix Hercules / Motets

If your idea of heaven is male vocalists singing religious Renaissance music as you ponder the meaning of life, this beautiful CD is for you. Cipriano of Rore (1516-1565) composed the Mass in honour of his patron, Ercole II d’Este, the sound meant to convey the latter’s Godliness. The sleeve notes are interesting; the tenor […]

Francisco de Peñalosa: Lamentations

This is a beautiful collection of religious music from the Renaissance. If you like religious vocal music that errs towards the sombre — the album title gives it away— this is a must. The singing is fantastic and the acoustics of wherever it was recorded only add to the experience. Peñalosa’s music is redolent of […]

London Myriad: Four

In this week’s Chronicle we report on a young musician’s plans to bring good modern classical music to this area, and a couple of recent releases from Divine Art would seem to be ideal for pressing the case of modern (ish) classical music. This album, launched last week, is a delight. It includes works by […]

Alexander Moyzes: Symphonies Nos 11 and 12

Alexander Moyzes, who died in 1984, was one of the most significant figures in modern Slovak music. The sleeve notes say he created a style of composition that “was thoroughly Slovak in inspiration”, while taking account of contemporary trends in European music. It’s expressive music and while not unmelodic, it’s also got no memorable sections. […]