Latest Music Reviews

Re-Re-Reissued Stokowski: 20th Century Music

by Victor Carr Jr

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These recordings, originally made by EMI, were previously released in different compilations on CDs that have since gone out of print. (Now that the copyright has expired, don’t be surprised to see future incarnations on various labels.) Holst’s The Planets is the main item of... Continue Reading

A Mix Of Mathias From St. Albans

by David Vernier

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I’ve always thought of William Mathias as a sort of alter-Britten. Sort-of because while the musical cues and clues are there, he’s also much more than that, in some ways more Britten than Britten (especially in his treatment of melody, not as an end but... Continue Reading

Wartime Cello From Trench To Concert Hall

by David Vernier

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The hook here is Steven Isserlis’ performances using a “trench cello”–a dismantle-able, portable instrument played by soldiers in First World War trenches–and the recording’s producers came up with a clever way to program it: include some short selections along with several substantial “wartime” cello sonatas,... Continue Reading

Trios For Two–A Bach Treat From Pine and Vinikour

by David Vernier

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You don’t have to look very far (check out the Classicstoday.com reviews archives) to find at least a half dozen first rate recordings of these sonatas. But this is Rachel Barton Pine and, here making his Cedille debut, her keyboard partner Jory Vinikour, both of... Continue Reading

Mak Grgic’s Microtonal Guitar Recital

by Jed Distler

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As far as recordings go, guitarist Mak Grgic seems to wear several hats; his Cinema Verismo, for example, was a carefully thought out and artfully executed “crossover” program devoted to music from the movies. On the other hand, the four substantial compositions included in the... Continue Reading

A Marvelous Medley of Marimbas

by Victor Carr Jr

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This CD’s whimsical cover photo might give the impression of silliness on the part of the musicians, but Trio SR9 is quite serious about its music-making, even while having a good bit of fun playing these very unusual and highly interesting arrangements for three marimbas.... Continue Reading

Finding Finzi & Howells

by David Vernier

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Gerald Finzi and Herbert Howells may not be the first names offered in a list of most distinguished 20th century English composers, but their stature as musicians is justly celebrated, and their music is as “English” as anything by Elgar, Vaughan Williams, Stanford, Parry, or... Continue Reading

Glass Meets Bach

by Jed Distler

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In some respects Philip Glass’ Third Piano Concerto (scored for pianist and string orchestra) represents “typical” Glass: the repeated phrases assembled like modular shelves, the doodling arpeggios, the static chords intertwined with chromatic lines, and the composer’s sixth sense for judging the right number of... Continue Reading

Pygmalion’s Invitation to the Dance

by Jens Laurson

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The ballet’s story is quickly told: Pygmalion, a sculptor, falls in love with one of his own creations. Would-be girlfriend Céphise doesn’t buy it and is jealous. Cupid intervenes and the statue comes to life. The latter is taught how to dance–cue several instrumental courtly... Continue Reading

Stunning Louis Couperin From Pianist Pavel Kolesnikov

by Jed Distler

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Long overshadowed by his famous nephew François, Louis Couperin’s reputation has increased tenfold over the past decade or so. More harpsichordists (at least on disc) are embracing this composer’s unfettered imagination and ability to generate extraordinary harmonic tension and release. So has one very special... Continue Reading

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