Tchaikovsky: Destroyer of Scores

Published on Primephonic 12 June 2018. With his unerring gift for gripping drama, exuberant orchestration, piquant harmonies and large, memorable tunes, Piotr Tchaikovsky was a hugely popular and influential composer. But even as he cranked out one masterpiece after another, he was plagued with doubts and he occasionally destroyed musical scores that he was unhappy…

Reviews: April 2018

Russian Piano Concertos Alexander Glazunov, Sergei Prokofiev, Dmitri Shostakovich, Sergei Rachmaninov, Alexander Scriabin, Anton Rubinstein, Moritz Moszkowski, Sergei Bortkiewicz, Nikolai Medtner, Alexander Mosolov, Anton Arensky, Nikolai Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov, Boris Tchaikovsky, Xaver Scharwenka, Sergei Lyapunov, Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Aram Ilyich Khachaturian, Ignacy Paderewski, Mili Balakirev, Dmitri Borisovich Kabalevsky. Various Artists Brilliant Classics 15 CDs 95520 (2018)…

Reviews: April 2018

Joseph Haydn Piano Trios Hob XV 14,18,21,26 & 31 Trio Wanderer Harmonia Mundi 902321 (2018) Confident, nimble playing with sparkling passagework and seemingly effortless cohesion among the players make these joyful performances by the Trio Wanderer of Haydn’s perennially youthful Piano Trios a delight from start to finish. Even with generally more brisk tempos than…

Press Releases: November 2017

Ludwig van Beethoven Symphonies 6, 7 & 8 Rafael Kubelik, Orchestre de Paris, Wiener Philharmoniker, The Cleveland Orchestra PENTATONE PTC 5186250 PENTATONE’s third release from Rafael Kubelik’s acclaimed Beethoven cycle of symphonies in its Remastered Classics series is his commanding reading of the sixth, seventh and eighth symphonies performed by the Orchestre de Paris, the Vienna…

Press Releases: September 2017

Ludwig van Beethoven Symphonies 1 & 4 Rafael Kubelik, London Symphony Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra PENTATONE PTC 5186248 The latest release in the Remastered Classics series from PENTATONE is Rafael Kubelik’s sprited and acclaimed reading from the 1970s of Beethoven’s first and fourth symphonies, performed with the London Symphony Orchestra and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. Delightful,…

Dennis Brain – the Siegfried of the Horn

Dennis Brain, the much-loved horn player who died tragically in a motor accident 60 years ago on the morning of 1 September 1957, was a shining example of a quiet, unassuming but supremely gifted musician in a field populated by colourful characters many of whom lacked his modesty, reserve and gentle wit. In his all…

Arturo Toscanini – the Quintessential Italian Maestro

Short, dapper and elegant, the Italian conductor Arturo Toscanini (1867 – 1957) cut a spritely figure; polite and attentive in congenial company but famous for his fiery outbursts in rehearsals, he marshalled his orchestral forces with a hitherto unheard of precision and intensity to produce a soundscape that was unmistakeably his own. In a long…

Maria Callas – The Voice

Photo by Ken Veeder, courtesy of Warner.  Franco Zeffirelli’s new production of Puccini’s Tosca at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in January 1964 was the most hotly anticipated event in the calendar. Not only did the lavish production cost an eye-watering £32,000 but it also marked the return to the stage of the celebrated soprano…

Press Releases: June 2017

Ludwig van Beethoven Missa Solemnis Regine Hangler, Clementine Margaine, Christian Elsner, Franz Josef Selig. Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, MDR Rundfunkchor Leipzig Marek Janowski, conductor Released on 01-06-2017, PENTATONE PTC 5186565 “From the heart to the heart” – Beethoven’s deeply felt and visionary choral masterpiece, the Missa Solemnis The conductor Marek Janowski and the Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin continue…

Press Releases: May 2017

Giacomo Puccini La Fanciulla del West Zubin Mehta, Placido Domingo, Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Chorus of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden PENTATONE REMASTERED CLASSICS PTC 5186243 May 2017. Puccini’s late opera La fanciulla del West bristles with drama and intrigue in this newly remastered classic recording with Zubin Mehta conducting…