Latest Music Reviews

Emanuele Delucchi’s Chopin/Godowsky Cycle Completed

by Jed Distler


In my review of Emanuele Delucchi’s first of two projected CDs devoted to Leopold Godowsky’s complete studies based on the Chopin Etudes, I cited the Italian pianist’s “comfort with and absorption of Godowsky’s serpentine idiom”. These words similarly apply to Volume 2, which feature Godowsky’s... Continue Reading

White Nougat: David Fray In Bach’s Multiple-Keyboard Concertos

by Jens F. Laurson


When Evgeni Koroliov & Co’s recording with the six multiple-keyboard concertos of Bach, performed on modern instruments, came out earlier this year, it became the immediate reference version. Not because it is the only complete such set, convenient though that is, but because of the... Continue Reading

Kempff’s Schubert in Blu-ray Pure Audio: A Reference Revisited

by Jens F. Laurson


Schubert—almost as much as Beethoven—had been a staple of pianist Wilhelm Kempff’s repertoire from the beginning to the end of his career, including his final public recital where he played (apart from Beethoven, of course) Schubert’s Sonata D. 845. And if his set of Schubert... Continue Reading

Handel’s Acis–Clear, Finely Felt, Beautifully Sung & Played

by Robert Levine


Fine performances of Handel’s delightful, brief pastoral are not rare: John Butt leads the Dunedin Consort in a five-voice version (as it was in 1718 at the premiere) that is crystal clear and spotless; William Christie’s 1998 performance is elegant and florid; Mendelssohn’s German version... Continue Reading

Major Discoveries: Braga Santos Missing Pieces

by David Hurwitz


This disc fills a useful gap in the discography of Portugal’s greatest twentieth-century composer, Joly Braga Santos. There have already been a couple of recordings of the Symphonic Overture No. 3, but none of Nos. 1 and 2 (subtitled “Lisbon”) until now. The First is... Continue Reading

Khatia Buniatishvili’s Schubert: Artistic or Airheaded?

by Jed Distler


Khatia Buniatishvili continues to toe a line between airheaded and artistic music making in this Schubert release. She plays the great B-flat sonata’s long first movement in a compulsively affetuoso manner, splintering the music into unrelated fragments that alternately dawdle, speed up, press forward brusquely,... Continue Reading

Bruce Hungerford On East German Television

by Jed Distler


The death of Bruce Hungerford in a January 1977 car crash robbed the music world of a supremely cultivated pianist and interpreter, whose small yet substantial recorded legacy I have covered in detail on and elsewhere. KASP Records has fleshed out Hungerford’s discography with... Continue Reading

A “Real College Try” Bartók Concerto & Stravinsky Rite

by Victor Carr Jr


David Bernard and New York’s Park Avenue Chamber Symphony bravely throw their hats in the ring with this recording of two warhorses in the face of competing discs available from almost any of the world’s great orchestras. Bernard’s interpretations are pretty much straightforward, free of... Continue Reading

Bartoli and Vivaldi–Together Again, Magnificently

by Robert Levine


Twenty years after Cecilia Bartoli’s groundbreaking exploratory CD of arias from heretofore unknown or little known opera by Vivaldi comes another batch of gems by the Red Priest, putting away forever the blessing/curse that has been his Four Seasons. The earlier CD cemented Bartoli’s rep... Continue Reading

Tangos for Yvar

by Jed Distler


In the early 1980s the American pianist Yvar Mikhashoff (1941-1993) initiated a commissioning project, asking 127 composers to write tangos for him. He premiered 88 of the tangos in a 1985 marathon concert. A posthumously published recording of 19 tangos appeared on the New Albion... Continue Reading

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