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Mon 03 Dec, 2018:
Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker, Op 71

Prior to hearing this eminently worthy Los Angeles Philharmonic Nutcracker under the Orchestra’s current Music Director Gustavo Dudamel, I’d been...

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Fri 23 Nov, 2018:
Schreker: Prelude to a Drama; The Birthday of the Infanta; Romantic Suite

Top billing on the sleeve goes to the 1923 orchestral suite based on music that Franz Schreker (1878-1934) had originally supplied for a 1908...

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Wed 21 Nov, 2018:
Mozart: Clarinet Quintet in A major, K581; Weber: Clarinet Quintet in B flat major, J182

To those familiar with the usual editions of Mozart’s Quintet, Julian Bliss’s first flourish – beginning on C below middle C and not on G as is...

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Mon 19 Nov, 2018:
James Francis Brown: The Heavens and the Heart

This first recording of choral and orchestral music by James Francis Brown (b.1969) confirms the promise of his debut collection of chamber works on...

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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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Thu 30 Aug, 2018:
Robert Gibson: Flux and Fire

This collection of string pieces composed in the decade from 1996 serves as a fine introduction to a composer exquisitely alert to atmosphere and...

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Fri 17 Aug, 2018:
Diamond: Symphony No 6; Rounds for String Orchestra; Romeo and Juliet

Composed in the decade from 1944, the three works here – examples of 20th-century American symphonic music at its most acutely lyrical, relaxed and...

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Mon 09 Jul, 2018:
Richard Strauss: Macbeth, Op 23; Don Juan, Op 20; Tod und Verklärung, Op 24; Festmarsch in C major

I've enjoyed my previous encounters on CD with the Staatskapelle Weimar, notably a highly involving live account of the Elgar Violin Concerto for...

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Fri 06 Jul, 2018:
Elgar: Symphony No 2 in E flat major, Op 63; Serenade for Strings in E minor, Op 20

“The spirit of the whole work is intended to be high and pure joy; there are retrospective passages of sadness”. So said Elgar to the Chairman of...

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Mon 11 Jun, 2018:
Portrait of a Lady with Harp: Music for Queen Christina of Sweden by Pasquini, Corelli, Arcadelt, Stradella, Alessandro Scarlatti and anonymous

Here’s a fascinating – and discretely enjoyable – compendium of music by composers championed by Sweden’s fabled Queen Christina. Having...

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Mon 07 May, 2018:
Haydn: The Six String Quartets, Op 64

Prepare for the new, which begins with the first movement of No 2. The tempo mark varies according to edition, either Allegro spiritoso or Allegro...

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Thu 26 Apr, 2018:
Gál: Piano Quartet in B flat major, Op 13; Three Sonatinas for violin and piano, Op 71; Sonatina in F major (1934)

Toccata Classics' third volume devoted to Hans Gál's chamber music launches in propitious style with the substantial Piano Quartet in B flat major...

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