Alexander Bakhchiev, Elena Sorokina: Piano Duet, Vol 2

This superb collection of piano pieces is the second part from the series of recordings by the duet of Sorokina and Bakhchiyev; known as the “Golden Duet of Russia” in their native land, apparently. This album features four sonatas for four hands by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, including the unfinished KV357, and his sonata for two […]

Nan Schwartz / Brenton Broadstock: Orchestral Works

If you’ve ever played your favourite album of film soundtrack music and thought: “Hmmm, if only they’d thrown in some jazz guitar, this would be perfect,” then this is for you. To make it clear: most of this album is palatable and listenable but it’s not lightweight classical film fare. This is music with gravitas, […]

Wolf Harden: Busoni, Piano Music, Vol. 10

As Shane Patrick Lysaght MacGowan famously wrote of Jimmy’s harmonica, it “soothed the souls of psychos and the men who had the horn”, and this programme of piano music has the same effect. It’s calming. A man with an appellation to rival Mr MacGowan, Dante Michelangeli Benvenuto Ferruccio Busoni was born at Empoli near Florence […]

Alice Dade: Living Music

The start (Air, for flute and string quartet) of this gentle and pleasant CD is pastoral, the music for a section of narrative from John Boy Walton (“Jim Bob never did tame that mountain lion, but it followed him all summer, and into the fall and as the leaves turned brown.”). Parts are more dramatic, […]

Dmitri Tymoczko: Rube Goldberg Variations

An off-beat album with even madder sleeve notes, this album is surprisingly enjoyable in a low-key sort of way. The title refers to Rube Goldberg, an American cartoonist and inventor: a Rube Goldberg Machine is a crazy contraption that accomplishes a simple task in the most complicated, and funniest, way possible. He is to the […]

A Garland for John McCabe

This is an odd album, though we ended up liking it more than we expected. It’s done with love for a man the composers respected and is more a private playlist, something to be shared among friends (and it’s been paid for by subscription). It’s unlikely to be performed live. After playing it several times, […]

Marcus Blunt: Orchestral Works

The last album we reviewed with a celestial image on the front was from Vyacheslav Artyomov, a serious Russian who writes epic music. His view of the universe was big and scary; space is infinite and you’re a puny human. Blunt’s title piece, Aspects of Saturn uses as its inspiration Saturnus. He is the Roman […]

Lauri Porra: Entropia

This meld of prog rock and classical is as interesting an album as you’d want; entertaining if you like your prog broken down and your classical with bass solos and lots of 4/4 time. Mike Oldfield managed it on Tubular Bells. Adventurous brass band fans might also find much to like. Porra, (40), is an […]

Sofia Gülbadamova: Dohnanyi, Solo Piano Works

This tranquil and calming double CD has remained on our playlist for several weeks. We meant to write about it earlier but were too busy being calmed by its sounds to put finger to keyboard. Erno Dohnányi — or Ernst von Dohnanyi as he composed under — was 16 in 1894, when he moved to […]