Georg Philipp Telemann: Michaelis Oratorium

This review is a little late but hopefully someone who wants festive music that’s not too heavy or cliched will find it ideal. It’s the music for the opening of St Michael’s Church, Hamburg, in 1762, which was destroyed by fire in 1760. It was a big ceremony and of course Telemann, Hamburg’s director of […]

Sarah Rodgers: The Roaring Whirl

The story of this delightful and quirky CDis as interesting as the music. It was originally a piece of musical theatre based on Rudyard Kipling’s Kim, a musical journey across the North Indian Punjab. The work was commissioned by clarinettist Geraldine Allen and after touring it, a final version was played — and recorded — […]

Vyacheslav Artyomov: Sola Fide Symphony In Spe / Latin Hymns Star Wind

We find ourselves repeating the same things about Artyomov and with Divine Art releasing his work at regular intervals we thought we’d promote a bunch together. Artyomov is one of Russia’s greatest living composers. He writes music that’s galactically huge, by which we mean it gives the impression of space and endless time; the music […]

Wolf Harden: Busoni: Piano Music, Vol. 11

We previously compared a CD from Mr Harden with Shane Patrick Lysaght MacGowan’s* lyric about Jimmy’s harmonica, which “soothed the souls of psychos and the men who had the horn”, and this new collection of piano pieces sees that hold true. It’s very late-night and calming. The BBC reports that Sir Edward Elgar considered Ferruccio […]

Sun-A Park: Muzio Clementi, Keyboard Sonatas

This is piano music for listening to, and it’s highly pleasurable. The sleeve notes say that while Mozart was “typically grudging” about Clementi, Beethoven had a high regard for his compositions, and Clementi was pivotal to the piano’s development as a virtuoso instrument. Mozart possibly didn’t like him because Clementi was a show-off and brilliant, […]

Marie Ythier: Une Rencontre (An Encounter)

The warm tones of the cello are what make this CD a pleasure to listen to, which is good, because the sleeve notes are technical and the ideas behind it analytical. Composer Tristan Murail is, say the release notes, “without doubt” one of the most significant figures in European contemporary music circles, and one of […]

Helen Habershon: Found in Winter

This is a very accessible collection — perhaps too much so for people who view themselves as “classical music” fans. The cd has television mini-series written all over it. Moby famously licensed every track from Play and we could see a similar thing happening here. Habershon is inspired by the natural world and it is […]

Truman Harris: A Warm Day in Winter

This is a jolly album of bassoon-led pieces. Yes: you study all your life, you’re really good and you put out a complex album … and it’s summed up as jolly. All that effort for one word. Jolly hockey sticks is what always comes to mind when we play this, but we’re not really sure […]

Fini Henriques: Piano Pieces

Listening to this rather delightful CD we thought it resembled a sampler of piano pieces for amateurs to play along to, and learn; not novices, but neither the highly advanced. When we read the sleeve notes, they report that, of Henriques’ works for piano, the majority can be divided into music for children and music […]

Diana Boyle … plays JS Bach

This album of gentle piano music has a definite meditative quality to it. This is probably because of how Boyle prepares for one of her (reportedly infrequent) recordings, which involves going away to the top of a hill and thinking for years. The sleeve notes say she has been doing this for 25 years; she […]