Latest Music Reviews

Florence Price’s Inspiring Third Symphony on Naxos

by David Hurwitz


Florence Price’s Symphony No. 3 (1940) may be her finest. Written in four well-proportioned movements, it begins with music of high seriousness–a slow introduction that sounds like the Adagio of Bruckner’s Seventh meets the Blues–and never looks back. The ensuring Andante is extremely beautiful, and... Continue Reading

Leopold Stokowski’s Ten Best Recordings (Video Review)

by David Hurwitz


Known as a charismatic showman, orchestral wizard, sonic genius, and an artist of questionable taste, Leopold Stokowski (1882-1977) was a law unto himself. He made a crazy number of recordings with countless orchestras for equally numerous labels. He put the Philadelphia Orchestra on the map,... Continue Reading

Czerny’s Walter Scott Fantasies For Piano Duet

by Jed Distler


Carl Czerny’s reputation as an industrious creator of piano exercises overshadows his equally prolific compositional output, including these previously unrecorded epic-length piano duet fantasies inspired by Sir Walter Scott’s novels. They respectively draw inspiration from the novels Waverley, Guy Mannering, Ivanhoe, and Rob Roy. Although... Continue Reading

Scrupulous Beethoven From The Dover Quartet

by Jed Distler


Since countless world-class Beethoven quartet cycles crowd the catalog, the proverbial bar invariably ascends with each new contender. Purely on a technical level, the Dover Quartet plays Beethoven’s six Op. 18 quartets as well as any ensemble on disc, and often better. They’ve clearly gone... Continue Reading

Mälkki’s Excellent Bartók Continues

by David Hurwitz


This release actually preceded that of the recent Concerto for Orchestra and Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta. It’s every bit as fine. Susanna Mälkki has the Helsinki Philharmonic playing at the highest level, with plenty of character in the woodwind solos in both works... Continue Reading

Otto Klemperer’s Ten Best Recordings (Video Review)

by David Hurwitz


Otto Klemperer’s (1885-1973) reputation today rests almost entirely on recordings made with the Philharmonia and New Philharmonia Orchestras in the last two decades of his life. By then, he had become the “grand old man” of German music, and for good reason. Even then, however,... Continue Reading

One For The Books: Spyres’ BARITENOR

by Robert Levine


Shortly after I heard and reviewed Amici e Rivali, a CD devoted to duets by Rossini sung by tenors Michael Spyres and Lawrence Brownlee, I happened upon a video from a European opera house in which Spyres sings the role of Florestan in Beethoven’s Fidelio.... Continue Reading

Trifonov’s “The Art of Life”

by Jed Distler


The Art of Life comprises a kind of double bill. It begins with a family portrait, first through the voices of J.S. Bach’s sons Johann Christian, Wilhelm Friedemann, Carl Philipp Emanuel, and Johann Christoph Friedrich, followed by works by family members and friends included in... Continue Reading

Netopil’s Fine Martinu Explorations Continue

by David Hurwitz


Supraphon has very good recordings of all of this music, and their lack of availability hitherto was concerning; but if the idea is to replace those older versions with excellent new ones such as this, we should be fine. This release features the lion’s share... Continue Reading

Arturo Toscanini’s Ten Best Recordings (Video Review)

by David Hurwitz


Arturo Toscanini was the most important, highly acclaimed conductor of the twentieth century. Only that last third or so of his epic career (he was born in 1867) is documented on recordings, but they remain some of the very greatest of their kind. This list... Continue Reading

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