Mieczyslaw Weinberg: Complete Sonatas For Violin And Piano

Weinberg is recognised as one of the outstanding Russian composers of the second half of the 20th century (say the Press notes, we won’t pretend we knew that). He was feted for his symphonies and string quartets, but also wrote a sequence of violin sonatas. Shostakovich’s influence is evident (say the notes) in the Third […]

Rhona Clarke: A Different Game

This new CD from Métier is Irish composer Rhona Clarke’s first album dedicated to her own music, skilfully played by The Fidelio Trio (Mary Dullea, piano; Adi Tal, cello; Darragh Morgan violin). If you’re put off by modern composers, don’t be: while this is a melancholy collection of work, it’s never hard to approach, and […]

Tõnu Kõrvits: Moorland Elegies

We may not know a whole lot about classical music, but we know a lot about moorland, having spent many a happy hour tramping hills. We can never listen to certain pieces by Elgar without hearing the wind blowing through the grass on the Malvern Hills at dusk. This nine-part cycle for mixed choir and […]

Elizabeth Jordan and Lynsey Marsh: Mind Music

It’s a game of two halves in this approachable programme from Elizabeth Jordan and Lynsey Marsh (clarinets and basset horn, with the Northern Chamber Orchestra and Stephen Barlow). And it’s all in a good cause — profits go to Parkinson’s UK. The programme features music written and/or performed by people who either suffered from a […]

Giacomo Carissimi: Eight Motets

Some church music is intended to instill awareness of the immenseness of infinity, some to sing along to and some to be reverential but pleasing, and this CD is in the last category. You could listen to it for its relaxed but respectful religious tones, or just play it to relax. Showing the timelessness of […]

Heroines of Love and Loss

The way things work in general is that classical albums take a couple of plays to get into, whereas it’s the pop/rock tunes that have instant appeal; until now, we’ve never had a classical album with that “must play every day” thing you get with a catchy pop tune. Until now;  Not that a collection […]

Jim Parker: Travelling Light

The title says it all: Parker writes light music, and the collection takes the listener to different parts of the world. (He also wears his talent lightly, the sleeve notes being witty and self-deprecating). You might not know the name of Jim Parker but you’ll know his music; he has written for television and his […]

Ferdinand Ries: Flute Quartets Vol.1

If you want to make a name for yourself, getting a job one of with the world’s greatest composers is a risky move, like being an understudy. You might have a lucky break or you might disappear without trace. Wikipedia reports that when Ries — friend and pupil of Ludwig van Beethoven — died, he […]

Robert Radecke: Piano Trios

Radecke was a skilled player of the pianoforte, organ and violin — the sleeve notes report he was a “sensation” when he played Beethoven in Berlin. He was top in his class at Leipzig Conservatory and as a reward played a Schumann piece to the composer himself, remaining friends with him afterwards. He also greatly […]

Tchaikovsky: 12 Morceaux

We always like programmes like this: though it’s Tchaikovsky it’s (i) not too highbrow and (ii) was written for commercial reasons; these two factors make a review easier. Tchaikovsky wrote music for the piano throughout much of his life, mostly as pieces aimed at the amateur — back in those days, composers earned money selling […]