Tag: Divine Art

  • Robin Stevens: Music for Cello and Piano

    This modern album is not so instantly accessible but despite its modern and sometimes austere sound it’s a long way from being difficult. The PR says that Stevens writes “stimulating and expressive” work influenced by everything from the music of the Romantic era to mathematics and the eclectic nature of the composer means that something […]

  • Alfonso Soldano: Metamorphoses

    Soldano is professor of piano performance at the Giordano Conservatory in Foggia, Italy. He was awarded the International Gold Medal for best Italian artist in 2013 and has performed and given masterclasses all around Italy, and in Germany, Switzerland and Romania. So he’s good. This new album sees him transcribe 15 of Rachmaninov’s romantic songs […]

  • Zeynep Ucbasaran: 1847, Liszt in Istanbul

    This lively and more-ish album of piano music consists of a selection of works from the 1847 Istanbul recitals of Franz Liszt.Lizst had arrived to entertain and was given a seven-octave piano by craftsman Sébastien Pierre Erard to play on while he was in what was then Constantinople. He played at the Royal Palace, the […]

  • Philip Hartmann: Invocazione brillante, Organ music by Carson Cooman

    The lockdown could have stopped one-man organ machine Carson Cooman from composing, but it’s unlikely. He’s prolific and never stops. Normally we expect Erik Simmons to be playing Cooman’s work but for this it’s German organist Philip Hartmann, and he does a fine job. We used to find organ music hard going but repeated forced […]

  • Fitzwilliam String Quartet: Schubert String Quartets

    Rock bands attempt authenticity by doing unplugged or acoustic sessions; classical players do it by going back to basics. For this recording of Schubert’s famous quartets, the Fitzwilliam String Quartet used gut strings, and quizzed experts about playing techniques of the time the works were composed (1824). Lucy Russell’s Ferdinando Gagliano violin from 1789 is […]

  • 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 […]

  • Jonathan Östlund: Voyages

    We always thought that if the fairies — and they do exist —wanted someone to play a gig, they’d get Östlund. He writes music that’s not wishy-washy or fey (the fey being a less pleasant race than the fairies to boot) but is ethereal and creates the atmosphere of being half-formed, in the sense of […]

  • Diana Boyle … plays JS Bach

    This album of gentle piano music has a definite meditative quality to it. This is probably because of how Boyle prepares for one of her (reportedly infrequent) recordings, which involves going away to the top of a hill and thinking for years. The sleeve notes say she has been doing this for 25 years; she […]

  • Cuatra Puntos: Jaipur to Cairo

    There’s world music and there’s world music: from Paul Simon’s world-tinged pop to Plant/Page roping in ethnic musicians to make polished albums or Tinariwen using western instruments for traditional songs. Then there are musicians from wherever playing traditional instruments. We’re fond of gnawa from Morocco, two-string guitars (that means real string) and qaraqueb — metal […]

  • Eitenne Cutajar: Mdina Music For Horn

    This is a new recording of (as the name suggests) music for horn by Etienne Cutajar, featuring violinist Carmine Lauri and pianist John Reid. The music comes from Beethoven, Brahms and Richard Strauss as well as modern composers Heinz Holliger, Jesmond Grixti and Jörg Widman; the work Mdina is by Grixti. Cutajar is principal horn […]