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 […]

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 […]

Ian Krouse: Armenian Requiem

This is a powerful work; perhaps too powerful for some; while it has some beautiful moments, it can also be imposing. Aficionados of choral work will undoubtedly appreciate the power and technical skill, however. It was composed to mark the centenary of the Armenian genocide of 1915, and is an ambitious sacred work built around […]

Alexander Moyzes: Symphonies Nos 11 and 12

Alexander Moyzes, who died in 1984, was one of the most significant figures in modern Slovak music. The sleeve notes say he created a style of composition that “was thoroughly Slovak in inspiration”, while taking account of contemporary trends in European music. It’s expressive music and while not unmelodic, it’s also got no memorable sections. […]

Sun-A Park: Muzio Clementi, Keyboard Sonatas

This is piano music for listening to, and it’s highly pleasurable. The sleeve notes say that while Mozart was “typically grudging” about Clementi, Beethoven had a high regard for his compositions, and Clementi was pivotal to the piano’s development as a virtuoso instrument. Mozart possibly didn’t like him because Clementi was a show-off and brilliant, […]

Clare Howick / John Paul Ekins: Violin and Piano Recital

This CD from Howick (violin) and Ekins (piano) features music from Elgar, Bridge, Delius, and Scott, with Elgar (Violin Sonata and Mazurka) opening and closing the programme. The Review Corner used to work in Malvern and tramping the hills on a windy autumn day, the wind blowing the top of the grass, was ideal for […]

Fritz Kreisler: The Complete Solo Recordings, Vol.7

It’s slightly misleading to call this classical: it’s a bloke playing popular tunes on the violin, so it’s really pop music, just pop from the days when a new tune was Dame Clara Butt singing Old Folks At Home. Austrian-born Kreisler was busy after WWI with a comeback in America, world tours, and a warm […]

Patrick Hawes: Revelation, Beatitudes and Quantia Qualia

This is a tranquil and calming album, despite the title (Revelations featuring blood, mountains of fire, bottomless pits and destruction). It’s a weighty topic delivered with a light touch; the nine pieces that make up the album are inspired by the Book of Revelation and its imagery. A second work, Beatitudes, is a collection setting […]

Randall Thompson: Requiem

We should have played this sooner: it’s superb and would be a great recording for early Christmas morning (or late Christmas Eve). The sleeve notes say that more than 30 years after Thompson’s death, several of his choral works are performed “with regularity”, and Alleluia (1941) at one point had more copies in print than […]

My First Christmas Album

If you’re looking for a Christmas album that the kids will like but won’t drive you up the wall, try this. It’s one of a series of Naxos CDs that try and introduce children to classical music, My First Complete Ring Cycle and My First Foray into Schoenberg’s Free Atonality being others. (OK, we made […]