Latest Music Reviews

Karabits Crushes Walton’s Symphonies

by David Hurwitz

WaltonKarabits

This is without a doubt the finest single disc coupling of the two Walton Symphonies currently available. The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra knows the music well, having made excellent recordings of it already with Andrew Litton, but Kirill Karabits is, if anything, even more exciting. There... Continue Reading

A Great Carnival with a Good Organ

by David Hurwitz

SaintSaensPappano

Whenever Martha Argerich is involved you can expect an extra jolt of energy, and so it proves. What’s surprising is that Anthony Pappano keeps up with her, resulting in a sizzling Carnival of the Animals. Hens and Roosters, Wild Asses, Pianists (of course)–all the more... Continue Reading

Bountiful Bizet from Barcelona

by David Hurwitz

BizetGonz

We can never have too many fine recordings of this perennially fresh music, but you’d be surprised just how few releases contain the complete Carmen and L’Arlésienne suites. Most leave something out, rearrange the order of movements, or otherwise play with what Bizet/Guiraud wrote. That... Continue Reading

Davis’ New “Antartica” Succumbs to Global Warming

by David Hurwitz

RVW7

The “Sinfonia Antartica” was a weak link in Andrew Davis’ last Vaughan Williams cycle, for Teldec. This newcomer is even worse. Of course, Davis knows how to pace the music: fluidly, with no dearth of forward momentum, especially in the slowish fourth movement. However, there’s... Continue Reading

Nelson Goerner Takes Wing In The Chopin Nocturnes

by Jed Distler

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The decisive and absorbing interpretive profile that Nelson Goerner brought to his 1997 EMI debut Chopin release may have softened around the edges over the past decades, yet it unquestionably permeates this set of Nocturnes. Goerner generally favors animated tempos, or at least tempos that... Continue Reading

Louis Lortie’s Chopin Cycle Continues

by Jed Distler

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Chopin’s Mazurkas and Polonaises may be nationalistic in origin, yet their musical impact is universal. They also seem to withstand a wide range of interpretive options that will suit some tastes more than others. For my money, Louis Lortie overthinks some of the Op. 7... Continue Reading

Major Discoveries: Crumb’s Luminous Voices from the Morning of the Earth

by David Hurwitz

CrumbVoices

Voices from the Morning of the Earth, for soprano and baritone soloists, amplified piano, and four percussionists, is the sixth work in Crumb’s American Songbook series. If you haven’t heard any of the previous installments, what Crumb has done is to take folk songs, spirituals,... Continue Reading

Dausgaard’s Mechanical Mendelssohn

by David Hurwitz

MendelssohnDausgaard

As time goes on, the clearer it becomes that for Tomas Dausgaard music starts with Carl Nielsen. In very late romantic and twentieth-century repertoire, he can be amazingly persuasive. Earlier than that, though, and he seems to have adopted a version of the period performance... Continue Reading

The Devil, You Say? Baroque Cellist Juliana Soltis’ Debut Disc

by Jed Distler

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The title of baroque cellist Juliana Soltis’ debut release, “Entrez, le Diable!”, is based on a quote from Hubert le Blanc’s 1740 treatise entitled Defense de la basse de viole, where he disparages the increasingly popular cello as a “miserable canker and a poor Devil”.... Continue Reading

Il Giardino Armonico’s Haydn Vol. 4: “Distratto” Indeed

by David Hurwitz

Haydn60

So it begins. The reason most projected Haydn symphony cycles, whether complete or not, start with a bang and then end with a whimper is that the range of the music so vastly exceeds the imagination of its interpreters. This is particularly true of performances... Continue Reading

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