Latest Music Reviews

Second Time’s A Charm for Vänskä’s Lemminkäinen

by David Hurwitz

Osmo Vänskä’s 1999 recording of the four Lemminkäinen legends was a rare disappointment, both interpretively and sonically. BIS knew it, and so the label has been stealthily replacing that edition with these newer recordings. The sad thing is that the older performances are the ones... Continue Reading

Thrilling Maometto II From Garsington

by Robert Levine

When this opera premiered in Naples in 1820 it was a flop. Rossini had been experimenting with structure for years in Naples–attempting to get away from the recit-aria-cabaletta (and repeat) form that was presumed in Italian opera–but apparently had strayed so far that audiences rebelled... Continue Reading

Bobby Mitchell’s Haydn Debut

by Jed Distler

Pianist Bobby Mitchell first came to my attention via his YouTube channel, which offers invigorating performances of Rzewski’s “The People United Will Never Be Defeated” and the Beethoven/Liszt Ninth Symphony among much else. Mitchell’s first commercial solo CD showcases his equally deep immersion in the... Continue Reading

Andrew Davis’ Sombre-to-Sunny Elgar Disc

by Victor Carr Jr

This CD takes us on the proverbial journey from “darkness to light”. Starting with Elgar’s gloomy Cello Concerto (the lugubrious first movement has me envisioning Byron’s Manfred dragging a cello through the Alps) and ending with the composer’s bright and bristling Pomp and Circumstance marches.... Continue Reading

Fischer Puts Bruckner On A Diet

by David Hurwitz

This recording of Bruckner’s Seventh symphony takes just over 56 minutes. To get a sense of what that means, consider the fact that Celibidache takes 53 minutes for the first two movements alone. Only Ormandy on RCA is quicker, by about a minute, while Pesek... Continue Reading

Strange Bedfellows: Mendelssohn and Adams

by David Hurwitz

John Adams’ Violin Concerto is a fine work, and Chad Hoopes plays it very well, with a big tone and confident intonation. The central passacaglia is particularly imposing, but Hoopes also has the virtuoso chops to give the closing toccata a brilliant run for the... Continue Reading

Honeck’s Incandescent Dvorák 8th

by David Hurwitz

There are few things more wonderful in the life of a record collector than a really great recording of a repertory warhorse. It’s not just because greatness provides its own justification. There is always the suspicion, especially after hearing dozens of merely adequate performances of... Continue Reading

A Delightful Scarlatti Piano Disc Reissued

by Jed Distler

The Outhere label’s “Rewind Collection” consists of reissues drawn from various European independent labels. This 2005 Scarlatti recital by pianist Racha Arodaky, for example, originally appeared on Zig-Zag Territories. Arodaky’s unbridled mastery deserves consideration, even among Scarlatti collectors who’ve heard it all. Her well-contrasted program... Continue Reading

Gwendolyn Mok’s Brahms: Old Instruments, Fresh Interpretations

by Jed Distler

Although I don’t know Gwendolyn Mok personally, we were classmates in the Juilliard School’s Pre-College Division in the early 1970s. Our theory teacher asked her to perform for the class from time to time, and she always livened things up with her assured artistry, even... Continue Reading

Heinrich von Herzogenberg’s Piano Music

by Jed Distler

CPO has devoted 13 previous releases to Heinrich von Herzogenberg (1843-1900), whose wife Elisabeth (1847-1892) was a favorite pianist of Brahms. It should be mentioned that the label’s latest endeavor on the Austrian composer’s behalf does not quite offer his “complete” piano works; it contains... Continue Reading

View The 50 Latest Music Reviews »

Welcome to Classics Today