Mahir Cetiz, Panayiotis Demopoulos: Anairesis

This is one for lovers of modern, harsh music, though it’s mostly not as harsh as it could be; less aural barbed wire than, well something not as barbed or as wiry. It’s written for small chamber ensembles and when one instrument is being harsh, another is more soothing. Much of the music is like […]

Michael Korstick: Dmitri Kabalevsky, Piano Sonatas and Sonatinas

The sleeve notes say Dmitry Borisovich Kabalevsky, born in St Petersburg on 30th December 1904, achieved international success with music such as his Second Symphony (1934). He came behind Prokofiev and Shostakovich and along with Khachaturian in the “big four” of Soviet music. The First Sonata (1927), which opens this CD, is among Kabalevsky’s earliest […]

Terry Riley: Palmian Chord Ryddle

Eventually we’ll get a classical CD that fans of more popular music can walk straight into; this is nearly it, but not quite. It’s interesting, though. Riley is associated with the minimalist school of composition (interlocking repetitive figures) and is influenced by jazz and Indian classical music, both of which are clearly on display here. […]

Various: Sappho, Shropshire and Super-Tramp

First of all what this is not: it’s mostly not folk music, despite the cover and it does not feature the works of Roger Hodgson and Rick Davies; the Super-Tramp of the title is hobo turned poet WH Davies. This double CD is sponsored by The English Poetry and Song Society and contains music by […]

George Dyson: Choral Symphony / St Paul’s Voyage to Melita

This enjoyable CD is made remarkable because it was written by Dyson as part of his DMus of Oxford, conferred in 1917. The work was unknown before researcher Paul Spicer found it in the Bodleian Library at Oxford. Born into a working-class family in Halifax, Dyson became one of the most important musicians and composers […]

Falter Bramnk: Glassical Music

You want experimental? Try this, an album based on the sound of glasses rinsed with hot water. You’ve all done the washing up and heard odd noises from the glasses as the water/air cools and dries. If you stuck a mic close enough, presumably the different shapes and sizes would produce different sounds. You might […]

Michael Alec: Rose Il Ritorno

This rather wonderful CD is an impressionist description of landscape using only violin and viola; perhaps not the most promising of descriptions but it is engrossing and draws in the listener. The sleeve notes are fun to read and help with the listening. Michael Alec Rose is (apparently) a leading light in the contemporary music […]

Rob Keeley: Twists and Turns

Skittish is the word for this CD from Keeley. This is partly because of the pairing of instruments such as clarinet and harpsichord (which create a sound different to what one normally hears) but also because of the music itself, which skitters about like a giddy rabbit in a summer’s field. The sound is somewhere […]

Madeleine Mitchell: Violin Muse

This CD demonstrates the violin at its most bleak/stark/purest; take your pick. Even Atlantic Drift, which opens with the sound of a lively folk song, is sparse and with an edge. This is not a criticism, just to say the album is mostly not warm or romantic, just dry and slightly melancholy; more a funeral […]