Latest Music Reviews

Argerich & Friends 2013 Edition

by Jed Distler

Like its predecessors, the 10th three-disc anthology culled from the Lugano Festival’s annual Progetto Martha Argerich features the celebrated pianist alongside established and emerging musician colleagues in a wide range of chamber and concerted repertoire. Three selections showcase Argerich herself. She inflects Beethoven’s First concerto... Continue Reading

London Baroque’s Distinguished Trio Sonata Series Continues

by John Greene

London Baroque offers another installment in its ongoing European Trio Sonata series, this time devoted to 18th-century Italy; as with the ensemble’s previous efforts the program features generally excellent performances of lesser-known repertoire. Ten years ago I reviewed a similar 18th-century Italian program by this... Continue Reading

Rambunctious Fidelio from Karajan: Live, 1962

by Robert Levine

Those of us who think of Herbert von Karajan as a conductor for whom nothing but icy perfection was acceptable will get quite a kick out of this performance of Fidelio from Vienna on May 25, 1962. It’s rather a mess. Apparently recorded from a... Continue Reading

Ehnes Impresses in Britten and Shostakovich Violin Concertos

by Victor Carr Jr

On paper the Britten and Shostakovich violin concertos make for an apt pair. The two composers were longtime friends who were very familiar with each other’s music. However, apart from both concertos featuring an extended passacaglia movement, the two works are quite different. Britten’s first-movement... Continue Reading

Androids, Fans, Boxes, & Figurines Do Not A Dutchman Make

by Robert Levine

This is the production that got side-tracked three years ago when it was discovered that the singer to star in the opera, Evgeny Nitikin, had a tattoo of a swastika on his chest, which of course would be entirely out of place and taboo at... Continue Reading

Tonya Lemoh’s Harmonies du soir

by Jed Distler

Following two superb CDs respectively devoted to music of Joseph Marx and Svend Erik Tarp, the Australian-born, Denmark-based pianist Tonya Lemoh now turns to relatively familiar and frequently recorded fare. There’s much to admire in Lemoh’s robust sonority and intense response to the lyrical undercurrents... Continue Reading

Unnecessary Beethoven Concertos From Vienna

by Jed Distler

The great cellist Heinrich Schiff may be an inspiring and thoughtful conductor at times (his Schubert symphonies, his Chopin concertos with soloist Nikolai Demidenko), but not in these diffident Beethoven concerto performances, recorded live in September 2011. Chordal attacks yield unpredictable balances, first-desk solos are... Continue Reading

Update Fails; All Else Works In Lively “Ory”

by Robert Levine

When nobody was looking, Le Comte Ory, Rossini’s last comic opera, stopped being a rarity. There had never been a recording of this opera until 1956 (a wonderful set led by Vittorio Gui); now, including videos and a couple of “private” recordings, there are at... Continue Reading

Enticing Keyboard Rarities By A Minor Master

by Jed Distler

In 2002 a large cache of scores by Swiss composer/pianist Caroline Boissier-Butini (1786-1836) came to light in the Bibliothèque de Genève. Not much is known about her musical education, although her upper-class lifestyle and supportive husband allowed her the freedom to pursue and develop her... Continue Reading

Marco Salcito’s Guitar Goldbergs: Quietly Compelling

by Jed Distler

Unlike many Bach works adapted for guitar, the keyboard-specific intricacies of the Goldberg Variations do not easily lend themselves to six strings. In the late 1990s Kurt Rodarmer circumvented these limitations via overdubbing and using a custom-made guitar with an extended bass register. He also... Continue Reading

View The 50 Latest Music Reviews »

Welcome to Classics Today