Timothy Hamilton: Requiem

Carlsberg have that advert, “If Carlsberg did…” followed by something really good. The best way we can put this is, “If Cliff Adams did requiems…” By which we mean that this modern piece — it was commissioned in 2012 to commemorate the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War — manages to be […]

Steven Isserlis: The Cello in Wartime

After reporting on the news from a century ago every week since war was declared in 1914, we’re seeing the end of the war approaching (if only people in 1917 had been so lucky), and expecting a deluge of war-related products, as the centenary of the end approaches. This one is very good. Given the […]

Johann Schelle: Christmas Cantatasj

This programme of Classic FM-style sacred music is ideal for people who want some reverential music during the festive period, but don’t want massed choirs yelling “Gloria!” at the top of their lungs while they’re peeling the spuds (the people, not the choirs). Schelle (1648-1701) was the music director at the Church of St Thomas […]

Bob Chilcott: All Good Things

Nominally this is jazz but as far as jazz goes, it makes Bob James sound like Metallica; it’s more like music for a trendy evangelical church, though choral singers will probably love it, too. Vocal group Commotio figure highly. Chilcott recently worked with Congleton Choral Society, who loved him. The CD reminded us of the […]

David Braid: Songs, Solos and Duos

This is a CD that shows that good music is hard to categorise. Wrexham-born Braid is a classical composer only because he’s on a classical label and plays classical guitar, but with a nudge in any direction this could be jazz or acoustic/folk pop. His mingling of jazz with folk and classical make this an […]

Barbara Karaskiewicz Karol Szymanowski: Piano Music

This is a nice autumn CD of piano music; the fact that it’s outstanding music played well, we’ll take as a given. Szymanowski is described in the sleeve notes as one of the most important Polish composers of the 20th century. The sleeve notes are extensive and well written, but the relevant information for those […]

Alfonso Soldano: Castelnuovo-Tedesco: Piano Music

Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco (1895-1968) was Italian, and one of the foremost guitar composers in the 20th century. In 1939 he went to the US and became a composer for MGM Studios, working on some 200 Hollywood films. He was an influence on other film composers, including Henry Mancini, Nelson Riddle and André Previn, and Jerry Goldsmith […]

Clare Howick / John Paul Ekins: Violin and Piano Recital

This CD from Howick (violin) and Ekins (piano) features music from Elgar, Bridge, Delius, and Scott, with Elgar (Violin Sonata and Mazurka) opening and closing the programme. The Review Corner used to work in Malvern and tramping the hills on a windy autumn day, the wind blowing the top of the grass, was ideal for […]

Richard Craig: Vale, New Music for Flute

  We moan about clichéd rock that’s produced to shift units more than for any musical values, but pull a face when something is difficult, and look down on music produced for people who don’t like music. But when something challenging comes along that pushes the boundaries it’s all: “What is this? Put that Jason […]

Andrew Wright: The Operatic Pianist II

We always like this kind of CD — transcriptions of more complex works for either travelling performers or good amateurs to play. It’s comforting to know that even the great composers had to earn a crust and deliver work that could be played by amateurs, a bit like finding the drummer with a named band […]