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 […]

Antje Weithaas: Schumann Violin Concerto

This was one of Schumann’s last major compositions, and should perhaps be called “the doomed”. It remained more or less unknown for more than 80 years after it was written, because violinist Joseph Joachim, for whom it was composed, suspected it revealed the composer’s madness (bipolar, probably). Then, as the sleeve notes explain, it was […]

Marius Neset: Viaduct

Nominally jazz but Norwegian saxophonist Neset proves he is a composer, period, as he and the London Sinfonietta baffle anyone who tries to pigeon-hole music. The piece opens with bustling orchestral strings and percussion before a jazz sound emerges with urgently plucked double bass (?) and some easy listening sax before it all goes a […]

Sebastian: Thirst

Without wanting to sound pretentious, you only have to know that this is out on (dance label) Ed Banger Records, to know the sound. The label is home to Justice and Uffie (Pop the Glock), as well as Cassius, Krazy Baldhead, DJ Mehdi and Mr Oizo: old-school club bangers. (Think Stardust’s Music Sounds Better With […]

Arabnormal: Arabnormal

Arabnormal is led by Younes Faltakh, formerly of Belgian alternative rock band The Hickey Underworld, from Antwerp. (The name comes from a song that appears on the album Plays Pretty for Baby, by Washington DC punks Nation of Ulysses). Belgian music is good, and while you might not have heard of Review Corner favourites Castus, […]

Rex Orange County: Pony

Rex, known to his mum Mrs O’Connor as Alexander, grew up in the rock ‘n’ roll heartland — a village in Surrey. (Actually Grayshott: from 1898 to 1900, Flora Thompson, author of Lark Rise to Candleford, was assistant postmistress there; among her customers was Arthur Conan Doyle. That kind of place.) Clearly a talented musician, […]

Courteeners: More. Again. Forever.

So: Courteeners make a good album shocker. It’s not that the songs are better, it’s just got a groove. Opener Heart Attack has a fat baseline and will be a song fans probably love. The lyric “Here we go / new tempo / pick another song for the radio” suggests business as usual (and fondness […]

The Regrettes: How Do You Love?

We like getting excited about new music, but there does come a point where you’ve heard it all before. The Regrettes do what they do well, a catchy bubblegum rock/pop-punk but it’s nothing new and bands like this come, briefly dazzle and disappear (The Pipettes? Black Kids? That other band whose name we forget?) California […]

Moscow City Ballet: The Nutcracker (The Regent Theatre)

Introducing ourselves – and our children – to new experiences is a great way to not only understand more but to find more that we can enjoy in life. As a novice to the ballet, this was not only my first visit to see The Nutcracker live, but the ballet in general – and with […]

Lasse Marhaug: Gjota

So: hands up all those who know Congleton has its own record label? Beartown Records was founded in 2009 “in the treehouse at the former Naturecraft pottery works,” says its website, and it releases “anything we like or don’t like” it says, “the only common thread is that each artist must have a link to […]