Mike Batt / Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Holst, The Planets

Amazingly, it’s The Wombles’ 50th anniversary this year — the furry rodents first appeared in 1968 — and to celebrate, Mike Batt has released this special edition of Holst’s The Planets. OK, so that’s only partly true: this new recording actually marks the centenary of the first performance of The Planets (29th September 1918, since […]

Vyacheslav Artyomov: The Way to Olympus

Artyomov is a modern composer from Russia writing with the ambition and scope of a man who knows his work is important. From what we read, his life in Russia has been hard, so perhaps a belief in your own standing in the history of music is crucial. He writes big, ambitious tunes; listening to […]

Eric Craven: Entangled States

This double CD of solo piano (with the ever-reliable Mary Dullea) reminded us of Bach’s Goldberg Variations — not because of the variations (there aren’t any) but because of the way it wends in and out of your consciousness, and because there’s a lot of silence. (We also like Mr Craven: he emailed and thanked […]

Wolfgang Rübsam Bach: Goldberg Variations

This not just a different version of Variations; it is, the sleeve notes imply, the one Bach wanted you to hear, played as it is on a lute harpsichord (one of only a few in existence, built by Keith Hill) at a sensible tempo. The “so-called” (as the sleeve notes put it) Goldberg Variations were […]

Hanzhi Wang: On The Path to HC Andersenp

We’re not often taken aback in the Review Corner (at least not in a good way) but such an event has occurred with this new programme of accordion music. We usually associates the accordion with Last Of The Summer Wine tweeness, or of pirates with one parrot and fewer legs, or Cajun or, in more […]

Tami Nodaira, Ichiro Nodaira, Toru Takemitsu: Japanese Guitar Music Vol 4

Despite the title, this is actually a guitar and flute recital; works for flute accompanied by guitar. It’s also not particularly “Japanese” in feel; it’s mostly a gentle and almost ambient sound, with little in the way of metre. “A unique sensibility and an imaginative flair for its colours and expressiveness,” say the sleeve notes […]

Sebastian Weigle: Richard Strauss Also sprach Zarathustra

There’s no point pretending otherwise, but we’ve heard more than the famous bit in Also sprach Zarathustra: the fanfare at the start (Sunrise). It was most effectively used in 2001: A Space Odyssey, although equally effectively played by Flaming Lips as a fanfare to their set at Jodrell Bank’s Bluedot earlier this year. Kubrick (and […]

Carson Cooman / Carlotta Ferrari: Women Of History

Albums from organist Cooman are the opposite of buses: you wait no time at all, and another two turn up. The man never sits still. This new one is an album of music by the Italian composer Carlotta Ferrari, professor of music composition at the European School of Economics in Florence. Ferrari has written many […]

Joshua Fineberg: Sonic Fictions

This is not an easy work and is for those who like their music atmospheric and challenging. It’s music that’s meant to be played live, the physical placing of musicians and mics in relation to audiences being key. The sleeve notes say works are not built around narrative or realism but are indebted to modernist […]

Solem String Quartet: Rawsthorne and Other Rarities

This is billed as a sequel to A Garland for John McCabe (DDA 25166), an affectionate tribute to McCabe that doubled as a sampler for various composers’ work. Apparently intended as the second disc in that set, this project grew to be a full album and is also dedicated to McCabe. It features recordings of […]