Latest Music Reviews

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

(Almost) Forgotten Gems from Dresden

by David Vernier

Here’s a very pleasant, expertly played and recorded collection of works from the repertoire of the Dresden Court Chapel in the first half of the 18th century. According to the detailed and informative notes, this particular program of orchestral works–sinfonias, sonatas, and overture-suites–is drawn from... Continue Reading

Fabio Luisi’s Cozy, Comfy Mahler Sixth

by Victor Carr Jr

Fabio Luisi likely had good ideas for this 2011 live performance of Mahler’s Sixth symphony, but they largely fail to come through in this new CD from the Vienna Symphony Orchestra’s house label. Luisi chooses decent tempos–slightly slow in the first movement, quick in the... Continue Reading

Daugherty’s Evocative Reflections on the Mississippi

by David Hurwitz

Reflections on the Mississippi is a tuba concerto, one of the few that probably stands a chance of entering the repertoire and becoming a popular favorite. That brings the viable repertoire for tuba and orchestra to a total of two works, the other being the... Continue Reading

A Guitar Goes to the Movies

by Jed Distler

All of the guitar transcriptions on this disc are based on classical, semi-classical, and Broadway musical selections that appear in movies, along with a few actual pieces of film music. That explains the collection’s title “Cinema Verismo”. Otherwise, why else would one place Bach’s “Sheep... Continue Reading

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

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