Latest Music Reviews

Weird Programming And Fine Playing From Stephen Beus

by Jed Distler

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The third release from pianist Stephen Beus on the Centaur label offers a quirky playlist for which the topic of dance purports to be the unifying agent. The program intersperses movements from a Bach English Suite and a Partita with Mozart’s Duport Variations and Ravel’s... Continue Reading

Major Discoveries: The Neoclassical Skalkottas

by David Hurwitz

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It was a smart idea to give this disc a title. “The Neoclassical Skalkottas” nicely sums up what to expect, even for those who don’t know that the composer is best known for his gnarly, atonal music. It turns out that this was just a... Continue Reading

New Music Mover And Shaker Charles Amirkhanian

by Jed Distler

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Charles Amirkhanian has worn many hats over the course of his career. As music director of KPFA in Berkeley, California from 1969 until 1992, he brought a distinctly experimental and vibrant agenda to the station’s programming. In 1992 he co-founded the San Francisco-based Other Minds... Continue Reading

Margherita Torretta: Bang-On Scarlatti From Out Of Nowhere

by Jens F. Laurson

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Scarlatti recitals on the piano are no longer a rarity, but really great ones still are. Since Horowitz’s groundbreaking disc, outstanding recordings have been made by Mikhail Pletnev, bursting-with-wilful fantasy, Ivo Pogorelich absorbed in his dynamic wonder-world, and Sergei Babayan, with refined insight. More recent... Continue Reading

Video Review: Roth’s Mussorgsky/Ravel–Chutzpah, and Little Else

by David Hurwitz

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For the video review please click on the image below, or HERE. And please don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube Channel.... Continue Reading

Shui Offers Fine Strauss

by David Hurwitz

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This is a very enjoyable disc, even though you might have favorite versions of most of this music. Lan Shui has the Singapore Symphony on excellent form throughout. Macbeth is exciting and impulsive–I’ve always like the piece and thought it better than its reputation would... Continue Reading

Franz Hummel’s Hercher Variations

by Jed Distler

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Born in 1939, Franz Hummel enjoyed recognition and encouragement of his pianistic gifts by the likes of  Richard Strauss, Hans Knappertsbusch, and Elly Ney. The website hyperiummusic.com credits Hummel for making more than 60 LP recordings that “encompass almost the entire classical and romantic repertoire,... Continue Reading

The Merton Collection

by David Vernier

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This recording features first rate performances of, on the “modern” side,  Eriks Ešenvalds’ Magnificat and Nunc dimittis, Arvo Pärt’s The Woman with the Alabaster Box, and Ola Gjeilo’s Sacred Origins–and equally excellent versions, on the “early” side, of William Byrd’s Praise our Lord, all ye... Continue Reading

Geoffrey Madge’s Uneven Goldberg Variations

by Jed Distler

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Bach’s Goldberg Variations may seem like a proverbial drop in the bucket for a pianist known for tackling Sorabji’s Opus Clavicembalisticum, the complete Godowsky/Chopin Etudes, the more-or-less complete Busoni, kilos of Krenek, and stacks of Skalkottas. On the plus side, Madge takes great care over... Continue Reading

Wandering With Seong-Jin Cho

by Jed Distler

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Deutsche Grammophon must love Liszt’s B minor sonata, having released recordings of the work by (in alphabetical order) Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Martha Argerich, Daniel Barenboim, Andor Foldes, Hélène Grimaud, Diana Kasco, Yundi Li, Ivo Pogorelich, Maurizio Pollini, Mikhail Pletnev, Daniil Trifinov, Tamas Vasary, Yuja Wang, and... Continue Reading

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