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Thu 23 Mar, 2017:
Mahler: Symphony No 9 in D major

Mariss Jansons’s Munich Mahler scores highest for warmth, intelligence and emotional centredness. BR Klassik grant his orchestra a tonal profile...

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Tue 21 Mar, 2017:
Hungarian Treasures – Bartók: Piano Quartet in C minor, Op 20; Dohnányi: Piano Quartet in F sharp minor; Kodály: Intermezzo for string trio

Bartók’s C minor Piano Quartet shouldn’t be confused with his rather better-known C major Piano Quintet of roughly five years later. The work, as...

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Thu 16 Mar, 2017:
Adam Schoenberg: American Symphony; Finding Rothko; Picture Studies

“My music comes straight from the heart – striving to be beautiful and inspiring, and simultaneously challenging and rewarding.” The well-chosen...

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Fri 10 Feb, 2017:
Rachmaninov: Trios élégiaques – No 1 in G minor; No 2 in D minor; Kreisler: Preghiera

Three recordings of Rachmaninov’s sizeable D minor Trio have caught my attention in the last few weeks: the vintage Oistrakh Trio (DG) with pianist...

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Fri 03 Feb, 2017:
Saint-Saëns: Cello Concerto No 1 in A minor, Op 33; Cello Sonatas – No 2 in F major, Op 123; No 3 in D major, Op posth

Hearing this admirable CD made me wish that rather than being a single disc it had been a double-pack featuring both cello concertos and all three...

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Mon 19 Dec, 2016:
Dvořák: Symphonies – No 3 in E flat major, Op 10; No 4 in D minor, Op 13

Interesting that, in the first movement of the Fourth Symphony, the ruggedly voiced and infinitely flexible Rafael Kubelík (DG) and transparent...

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Tue 13 Dec, 2016:
Mendelssohn: Elias, Op 70 (Elijah)

Although Mendelssohn took JS Bach’s influence very much to heart, performing Elijah with even a smidgen of period manners carries a warning sign....

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Mon 05 Dec, 2016:
Prokofiev: Romeo and Juliet, Op 64

The finest Prokofiev Romeo & Juliet we’ve had since Gennadi Rozhdestvensky’s Bolshoi recording from the 1950s (Melodiya), and I’m not forgetting...

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Thu 24 Nov, 2016:
Prokofiev: Piano Concertos – No 1 in D flat major Op 10; No 3 in C major, Op 26; No 4 in B flat major, Op 55

Under Hannu Lintu’s direction the Third Concerto’s Andante opening, with its intertwining clarinets and answering strings, is as balmy as anyone...

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Mon 21 Nov, 2016:
Schubert: Impromptus, D 899; Moments musicaux, D 780; Six German Dances, D 820

Now this is what I like to hear: vivid declamation of material that I’ve known and loved for years, but which in the hands of a pianist – no, a...

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Mon 14 Nov, 2016:
Pärt: Da pacem Domine; Triodion; Sieben Magnificat-Antiphonen; Nunc dimittis; Dopo la vittoria; Virgencita; The Woman with the Alabaster Box; Tribute to Caesar

Perhaps the most magical episode here occurs 2:56 into the third ‘Ode’ from Triodion (1998), ‘O Holy Saint Nicholas, Pray unto God for Us’,...

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Thu 10 Nov, 2016:
Strauss: Elektra – Suite (conceptualized by Honeck & realized by Ille); Der Rosenkavalier – Suite (arranged by Rodzinski)

For me this brilliantly played Elektra Suite as ‘conceptualised by Manfred Honeck and realised by Tomas Ille’ is something of a wish fulfilment,...

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Wed 02 Nov, 2016:
MacMillan: Violin Concerto; Symphony No 4

Rarely has a CD of new music engaged me quite as much as this one has, the Violin Concerto (2010) – which melds elements of song and dance –...

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