Latest Music Reviews

Horowitz And Beckerman Offer A Fresh Look At Dvorák

by David Hurwitz

The Horowitz here is Joseph, the critic and music historian, not Vladimir, aided and abetted by noted Dvorák scholar Michael Beckerman of NYU, whose work has contributed so much to a deeper understanding of the Czech composer’s American years. It’s important to remember that when... Continue Reading

John Field According To Stefan Irmer, Vol. 1

by Jed Distler

It is well known that Chopin first patterned his Nocturnes after John Field’s pioneering works in this genre. While Chopin ultimately cornered the Nocturne market, so to speak, a modest Field revival has taken place, on disc at least. John O’ Conor’s first Field disc... Continue Reading

Another Stenhammar Serenade on BIS

by David Hurwitz

Wilhelm Stenhammar’s Serenade probably is his orchestral masterpiece, although a good case can be made for the Second Symphony as well. It has been lucky on disc, starting with Rafael Kubelik’s very good recording, and  Neeme Järvi’s first version, also on BIS, which includes an... Continue Reading

Barenboim’s New, Not Improved, Bruckner Symphonies 1- 3

by Victor Carr Jr

This is Daniel Barenboim’s third go-around with the Bruckner Symphonies, this time for the digital download-only Peral Music label formed in collaboration with Universal Music. Launching a new label with early Bruckner symphonies is a curious thing (he’s planning a complete cycle), but Barenboim asserts... Continue Reading

Bach For Those Who Can’t Count To Three

by David Hurwitz

Hearing this disc brought to mind the immortal words of Mussolini: “It’s not difficult to rule the Italians, it’s just pointless.” Well, here we have Bach’s marvelous organ trios (that is, works for left hand, right hand, and pedals), three lines of pure, miraculous counterpoint,... Continue Reading

An Incongruous Coupling from Yundi

by Jed Distler

After floundering at EMI, Yundi returned to DG’s fold in 2013 with a strong solo Beethoven release containing the three “name” sonatas. It therefore comes as no surprise that this pianist serves up the composer’s “name” concerto with comparable assurance, power, style, and taste. He... Continue Reading

Aerospace Entführung from Salzburg

by Robert Levine

First untraditional stagings, then untraditional locales—floating stages, armories, overlooking Sydney Harbor. How about Opera in the Hindenburg? We have got to make opera palatable to a younger audience! But I digress, if only vaguely. And I am being an old fogey, but only vaguely. Die... Continue Reading

More Impressive Alkan from Vincenzo Maltempo

by Jed Distler

I first heard pianist Vincenzo Maltempo via his 2012 Alkan release that included truly impressive performances of the Op. 33 Sonata Le Quatre Ages and the four-movement Symphony culled from the composer’s Twelve Etudes in All of the Minor Keys. His Alkan follow-up contains the... Continue Reading

Stewart Goodyear’s Trendy Tchaikovsky & Grieg Piano Concertos

by Victor Carr Jr

Listening to these performances by Stewart Goodyear, the word that kept coming to mind was “impressive”. And Goodyear does indeed impress with his bullseye accuracy, rapid fingerwork, and an overriding sense of confidence borne from the mastery of his instrument. As with many of his... Continue Reading

Bach Vocal Music from St. Gallen

by David Hurwitz

We live in a golden age of Bach performance, no doubt about it. The J.S. Bach-Stiftung of St. Gallen, Switzerland, may not be a household name, but then neither was the Japan Bach Collegium before BIS got hold of them. All a Bach cantata really... Continue Reading

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