Justin Badgerow: Reminiscences of Brazil

This is an entertaining and varied programme of piano music. The Brazilian side gives the music life and a vivacity that’s a little unexpected but don’t expect it to sound very Latin American. It’s as much in the feel and passion as the rhythm. It’s robust, and powerfully played; there’s nothing of the polite salon […]

Terence Charlston: Froberger, Complete Fantasias and Canzonas

This is a programme for people who like early music, authentic sounds – and clavichords, of course. The clavichord was a cross between a harp and piano; Wikipedia says Elizabeth of York, queen of Henry VII, bought one in 1502. The instrument was popular from the 16th century to the 18th century, particularly in German-speaking […]

Bosphorus Trio: Piano Trios (Turkish)

We like a bit of Turkish in the Review Corner. We went to a wedding in Istanbul (as you do, a chum married a Muslim) and did much for Anglo-Turkish relations by dancing energetically to Turkey’s top wedding banger, from Ömer Faruk Bostan. The wedding was just under the bridge on the cover of this […]

John McCabe: Scarlatti / Clementi Sonatas

An album it’s hard to say much about: John McCabe plays some great piano pieces very well. The music was recorded in 1981. McCabe was approached by Ted Perry, of Hyperion, who suggested some Scarlatti sonatas. McCabe wanted to record sonatas by Clementi, in his view an unjustifiably neglected composer, whereas many fine pianists were […]

Philip Glass: Violin Concerto No 2, American Four Seasons

Pretty much all you need to know is in the title: it’s Philip Glass offering his take on the baroque classic. The idea for this came from violinist Robert McDuffie, who asked Glass for a concerto reflecting Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. The aim was for a work that could be programmed with the Vivaldi and offer […]

Philip Glass: Glassworlds 6

The sleeve notes say Glass was chatting to someone who lamented America’s lack of history, so Glass set about creating one, lacing together his native culture and its legends. Thus were born the works on this excellent CD. The opening piece is “his most challenging piece to date,” Concerto for Piano No.2, After Lewis and […]

Eleanor Hodgkinson: Nino Rota, Complete Solo Piano Works, Vol. 1

You all know the music of Nino Rota — he wrote scores for films such as The Godfather; the famous main theme from that, Speak Softly, Love is his. He also wrote the music for 150 other films. His day job was director of the Conservatorio di Musica Niccolò Piccinni in Bari and he also […]

Sonia Rubinsky: JS Bach, Magna Sequentia II, A Grand Suite of Dances

Rubinsky has compiled this CD so it’s not in any order Bach would have recognised. There are 17 segments in a sequence, selected by Rubinsky to make an “expanded Baroque dance suite” as the sleeve notes explain. This rather explains the album: 17 pieces of music linked in some way, mostly dances. They are selected […]

Idil Biret: Mozart, Piano Concertos Nos. 15, 24, 25 and 27

We review a lot of classical albums and favour the more interesting — but often flawed — because they’re easier to write about (and lesser names deserve the publicity). Mozart, on the other hand, is not flawed, so you’re down to which performance of any piece is best. Sniffy reviewers might find fault with this […]