Latest Music Reviews

Jablonski Aces Bacewicz Piano Works

by David Hurwitz


This splendid disc will appeal both to piano mavens and fans of good twentieth-century music alike. Grazyna Bacewicz (1909-69) was a very distinguished composer, and although better known (perhaps) for her solo violin pieces, she had a real feel for keyboard sonority and color. All... Continue Reading

Karel Ančerl’s 10 Best Recordings (video review)

by David Hurwitz


Karel Ančerl’s life was marked by unimaginable tragedy. His wife and infant son were gassed at Auschwitz, while after 18 years as head of the Czech Philharmonic he defected from his homeland after the Soviet invasion of 1968, spending the remaining five years of his... Continue Reading

Gerardo Teissonnière’s Late Beethoven

by Jed Distler


Gerardo Teissonnière savors the improvisatory nature of Op. 109’s first movement, conveying an expansive and reflective aura. By contrast, the pianist’s mannered rhythmic lurchings and fussy phrasings leave an unsettled impression throughout the Prestissimo movement. The dutiful and literal mood of Teissonnière’s third movement shatters... Continue Reading

Café Zimmermann’s Re-scaled, Re-scored, Rewarding Bach

by David Vernier


This is a recording that may be best enjoyed by listeners who already are fans of Bach and who will recognize some or all of the selections so skillfully arranged and expertly performed here; but no matter your level of experience with the particular works,... Continue Reading

Subtle And Thoughtful Piano Works By Emanuele Delucchi

by Jed Distler


The contrapuntal awareness distinguishing Emanuele Delucchi’s piano interpretations of Godowsky’s Chopin Studies informs his very different aesthetic as a composer. His Third, Fifth, and Sixth Ricercares for piano basically transplant Frescobaldi into the 21st century, and strike a balance between that composer’s rhapsodic language and... Continue Reading

Fussy Yet Immaculate Mozart In Minor

by Jed Distler


The Lithuanian-born/London-based pianist Indré Petrauskaité’s Mozart interpretations feature symmetrical phrasing and multi-hued detaché articulation that is sophisticated to the point of occasional fussiness. In the K. 310 Rondo and K. 475 Molto allegro, for example, her fancy dynamic tapering pulls focus from the music’s underlying... Continue Reading

Mitropoulos’ Great Tchaikovsky Pathétique Returns At Last!

by Victor Carr Jr


This storied recording, long elusive (in the U.S., at least) has at last reappeared in a handsome remastering with the original cover art to boot. Originally released on Columbia Masterworks in 1958 (recorded a year earlier), it first came to my attention as a Columbia... Continue Reading

Fritz Reiner’s 10 Best Recordings (video review)

by David Hurwitz


Fritz Reiner was one of those egomaniacal, autocratic conductors who had as much a reputation for cruelty to his players as for music excellence–but he sure got results! Although best known for his performances of late romantic “blockbusters,” he made some surprisingly fine recordings of... Continue Reading

Homage To Catalonia

by David Vernier


I couldn’t resist borrowing the title of George Orwell’s 1938 book for this review–because it so perfectly describes what tenor Isaí Jess Muñoz and pianist Oksana Glouchko have accomplished with their excellent recital featuring “Catalan art songs of the 20th and 21st centuries”. Although many... Continue Reading

Gabriel Stern’s Auspicious Liszt Etudes

by Jed Distler


The French/Israeli pianist Gabriel Stern first came to my attention with his decent if rather matter-of-fact Bach Goldberg Variations release on Lyrinx. Liszt’s Transcendental Etudes, however, show off Stern’s artistry in far more flattering and three-dimensional light. Although Stern unquestionably possesses the technique and temperament... Continue Reading

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