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Mon 09 Sep, 2019:
Beethoven: The Nine Symphonies

Those dominant sevenths in the three opening bars of the Adagio molto introduction to No 1 emerge with a whiplash decisiveness that puts paid to...

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Mon 08 Jul, 2019:
Mahler: Titan

A Mahler premiere on disc – the second, five-movement, version of what became the First Symphony – is something not to ignore, especially in such...

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Mon 20 May, 2019:
Haydn: Die sieben letzten Worte (The Seven Last Words) – Orchestral Version

Daring to dig deep, daring to be emotional, daring to throw caution to the winds. They were the objectives of six string quartets formed from students...

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Wed 08 May, 2019:
Ficino Ensemble: Winter – Brahms: Clarinet Quintet in B minor, Op 115; Sholdice: Winter; Ravel: Introduction and Allegro

Formed in 2012, the Ficino Ensemble has established itself as one of Ireland’s leading chamber groups. Its intelligently programmed, superbly played...

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Mon 01 Apr, 2019:
David Fennessy: Panopticon; Piano Trio (Music for the pauses in a conversation between John Cage and Morton Feldman); 13 Factories; Hirta Rounds

There’s so much to admire, be intrigued, excited, engaged and pleased by in this fascinating collection of pieces by the Irish composer David...

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Mon 25 Mar, 2019:
Elgar: The Wand of Youth – Suites Nos 1 & 2, Opp 1a & 1b; Nursery Suite; Salut d'amour, Op 12; Chanson de nuit, Op 15 No 1

This latest offering in Sir Mark Elder's Elgar series with the Hallé strikes me as an unbridled success. Subtitled 'Music to a child's play' and...

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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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