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Fri 16 Nov, 2018:
Beethoven: Symphony No 3 in E flat major, Op 55 (Eroica); Richard Strauss: Horn Concerto No 1 in E flat major, Op 11

Let’s talk Strauss first, not yet nineteen when he composed this concerto, the tough horn part foxing his father for whom it was written. Not...

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Wed 14 Nov, 2018:
Bernstein: Wonderful Town

Simon Rattle’s effervescent third take on Bernstein’s under-appreciated Wonderful Town finds the London Symphony Chorus and Orchestra on...

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Mon 12 Nov, 2018:
Brahms: Symphony No 3 in F major, Op 90; Hungarian Dances Nos 11-16; Alto Rhapsody, Op 53; Schubert: Lieder D 369, 541, 719, 778, 838 and 583 (all arr Brahms)

Thomas Dausgaard has already given us Brahms’s first two symphonies, coupled as here with his own Berio-like visitations on various Hungarian...

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Fri 09 Nov, 2018:
Michael Berkeley: Winter Fragments – Catch Me If You Can; Clarinet Quintet; Winter Fragments; Sonnet for Orpheus; Seven

Released to mark his 70th birthday, this rewarding collection of chamber pieces by Michael Berkeley spans half a lifetime. Following their...

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Wed 07 Nov, 2018:
Bach: Fugue in E flat major, BWV 876 (arr Mozart); Shostakovich: String Quartet No 15 in E flat minor, Op 144; Beethoven: String Quartet No 12 in E flat major, Op 127

I once asked the leader of a distinguished string quartet whether the group’s performances of Beethoven’s Op 130 Quartet altered according to...

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Mon 05 Nov, 2018:
Julian Anderson: Choral Music – My Beloved Spake; Bell Mass; O sing unto the Lord; I saw Eternity; Four American Choruses; Nunc dimittis; Girolamo Frescobaldi: Toccata quarta

Julian Anderson seems to have come into the world in fully realised compositional maturity. Turning 40 in 2017, he writes with an inherited wisdom...

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Fri 02 Nov, 2018:
Mozart: Symphonies – No 40 in G minor, K 550; No 41 in C major, K 551 (Jupiter)

I’d call this coupling ‘typically Blomstedt’ in that both performances generate a sense of awe without sounding over-reverential, while musical...

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Wed 31 Oct, 2018:
Debussy: Harmonie du soir – Mélodies / Songs

Marking the centenary of Debussy’s death, this collection of mélodies and songs “set in the land of the Symbolist and Impressionist poets” is...

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Mon 29 Oct, 2018:
Schubert: Symphony No 9 in C major, D 944 (Great)

Mariss Jansons doesn’t exactly steal in. He turns the opening eight-bar horn call marked piano into a forthright statement, and though he...

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Wed 24 Oct, 2018:
Haydn: Piano Sonatas, Volume 7 – A major, Hob 5; G major, Hob 6; in E major, Hob 31; F major, Hob 47; C major, Hob 48

A puzzle to set the ball rolling. Why is Hob 47 – the first movement not by Haydn, the two subsequent movements the same as the first two movements...

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Mon 22 Oct, 2018:
Tchaikovsky: Symphonies – No 2 in C minor, Op 17 (Little Russian); No 3 in D major, Op 29 (Polish)

Vladimir Jurowski’s complete live set of Tchaikovsky symphonies (available on LPO LPO-0101) proved something of a mixed blessing and this 2016...

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Fri 19 Oct, 2018:
Alissa Firsova: Tennyson Fantasy, Op 36; Bride of the Wind, Op 34; Expressions, Opp 9 & 10; Paradise Poems, Op 22; Fantasy, Op 29

Alissa Firsova’s Tennyson Fantasy has the mark of a modern classic about it. Played here with consummate grace, keening lyricism and biting incision...

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Wed 17 Oct, 2018:
Brahms: The Four Symphonies

Certain aspects of this release strike me as fairly well targeted, so why is it that I come away from Daniel Barenboim’s Brahms with a sense of...

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