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. […]

Alexander Rahbari: My Mother Persia, Vol.1 Symphonic Poems Nos.1-3

Iranian conductor and composer Ali (Alexander) Rahbari has worked with more than 120 European orchestras. Born in 1948, he studied violin and composition at the Persian National Music Conservatory then went to Austria. In 1979 he was invited to conduct the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and became Herbert von Karajan’s assistant, working with him every day […]

Alexander Ffinch: Transformations

This CD sees Ffinch play Cheltenham College Chapel’s organ; he is college organist so he knows it well. The opener is Joseph Jongen’s Sonata Eroica. This was commissioned by Belgium Radio in 1930 for the inaugural concert at the art-deco concert hall and arts centre at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels. We like Belgium, […]

Idil Biret: Mozart, Piano Concertos Nos. 15, 24, 25 and 27

We review a lot of classical albums and favour the more interesting — but often flawed — because they’re easier to write about (and lesser names deserve the publicity). Mozart, on the other hand, is not flawed, so you’re down to which performance of any piece is best. Sniffy reviewers might find fault with this […]