Military Wives Choir: Remember

It’s probably an act of sedition to criticise this, not that we want to. It’s a commemoration of the end of WWI, and opens with The Poppy Red, inspired by the poem We Shall Keep The Faith (“Oh! you who sleep in Flanders Fields / Sleep sweet — to rise anew! / We caught the […]

Anton Eberl: Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra

We imagine this is the sort of CD that Classic FM loves, classical-sounding classical music that’s uplifting but not too fearsome; it makes for nice background music while you’re working. Not that Eberl is bland: he was a contemporary of Beethoven and knew Mozart, who may even have taught him. He later toured with Mozart’s […]

Murray McLachlan: Innovations, Music for Two Pianos and Percussion

Other critics have called it “excellent” and “hugely impressive” but we found this is a little intimidating for its early plays: The Rite of Spring but on steroids. The playing is technically impressive, and the sound is bracing and enervating, but it’s a programme that’s challenging and powerful, if not harsh. Obviously, another pair of […]

Alan Hovhaness: Wind Music

This album has reportedly been in the British classical album chart, so some of you already like this. We never look at the charts: they’re either bands only three students have ever listened to (indie charts), remixes of mediocre tunes featuring Someone Famous (pop) or various guitar works from John Williams and Four Seasons from […]

Panayiotis Demopoulos: Nina’s Clock

A Greek pianist playing improv jazz with a classical bent and a local connection? This doesn’t happen too often. This suite has 11 movements and is a reflection of moods, external stimuli and events as felt by the composer one night after recording sessions. He tells the story that links the tracks in the sleeve […]

Basil Athanasiadis: Soft Light

This is mood music: if you’re in the right mood, it’s truly beautiful in places and leaves your mind relaxed and in the present. In the wrong mood, it scratches down your spinal cord like a horde of angry kittens with genetically engineered super-claws. In a word: it won’t calm you in moments of stress, […]

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, […]