Daniil Shafran Bach: Six Suites For Cello

This is a re-issue but still sounds great: Bach played by a perfectionist who believed in bringing out the emotion in music rather than worrying about the technical. Obviously, he had to be really good to do that. Shafran was born in 1923, the son of the principal cellist of the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra; his […]

Niccolò Paganini: Works for Violin and Orchestra

This CD features a world première recording of the original versions of three works by Paganini: Le Streghe — described as a turning point in his career by the sleeve notes — Non più mesta and I Palpiti. A performance of Le Streghe in 1813 in Milan launched Paganini’s career. The “premier recording” line is […]

The Trials of Cato: Hide and Hair

If you like folk and you’ve not heard of The Trials of Cato, we suspect this will change before the year is out. They produce folk that is recognisably traditional, with the commercial mass-appeal of Seth Lakeman and the musical prowess of a shredding metal guitarist. The people who don’t like this will probably be […]

Rainer Böhm: Hýdor (piano works XII)

It’s taken some time to review this very pleasant CD. Though it’s on jazz label ACT, it’s only nominally jazz and the only instrument is the piano. Opener Bass Study (Part I) is one of the more jazz-like tracks before Böhm goes more classical but, like the rest of the album, it’s gentle and relaxed […]

The Overtones: The Overtones

All we can do with this is say it’s out: it is what it is. We’re guessing the target audience is older women, the inclusion of Rockin’ Robin, a hit in either 1958 (original version) or ‘72 (Michael Jackson) indicating a more mature audience. The sleeve notes write that the music is aimed at people […]

Cilla with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra

We have to confess that we didn’t spot this was with the Royal Liverpool Phil — we slapped it on and played it a few times, but Black’s 60s hits sound a little cheesy (see below), so the new orchestral arrangements didn’t initially sound out of place. Black was a singer first and foremost, and […]

Parcels: Parcels

The opening bars of this CD tell you all you need to know: it’s the 1970s, and Nile Rodgers and Giorgio Moroder are the kings of pop. Scintillating guitar, disco beats, harmonies. Despite sounding as old as the Review Corner’s scratchiest vinyl, Parcels manage to be sound modern — they worked with Daft Punk for […]

Bavarian Radio Chorus: Joy to the World (Famous Christmas Songs)

The title gives it all away — the Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks (Bavarian Radio Choir to you post-Brexit Britishers) sings popular Christmas songs. It’s not Christmas carols, it’s Christmas songs and there’s a nice selection. The sound is lush and big budget, and it’s warming and comforting, like a National Trust shop. It put us […]

Karine Polwart: Laws of Motion

Folk singer Polwart doesn’t need to sing or play instruments to sound good — as she proves on I Burn But I Am Not Consumed, she can talk mellifluously; it’s almost a disappointment when she starts to sing. I Burn But I Am Not Consumed is a good start to the album. In the opening […]

Carson Cooman: Owl Night

We’d like to be the first to compare organ music with Phil Collins. This latest in the never-ending series of CDs by Cooman and/or Erik Simmons (who plays) is the one we like best thus far. Organ music can be a little formal or even ponderous, and there’s that whole echoey in a church thing […]