Review: Bruckner Motets

Stunning performances in Bruckner’s timeless masterpieces from the Choir of St Mary’s Cathedral, Edinburgh whose voices soar magically into the vast cathedral’s acoustic.

Review: Handel Messiah – The Choruses

Under the astute direction of Frieder Bernius, these lively and assured performances from the Kammerchor Stuttgart and the Barockorchester Stuttgart capture the spontaneity and sheer delight of Handel’s best-loved work.

Handel in The Strand

Formerly situated just off The Strand in London in front of Christopher Wren’s architectural masterpiece St Clement Danes church, the Crown and Anchor Tavern seems an unlikely birthplace for a revolution in choral music. Then, as now, taverns (or public houses) were colourful meeting places for eating, drinking, animated discussion and occasionally brawls. In the…

Review: I Heard You Singing – English Songs

Riveting performances by the English tenor Ben Johnson, winner of the Audience prize in the 2013 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World, make this album of little-known English songs a delight.

Review: Pauline Viardot – Songs

This delightful album brings together original songs and arrangements by the unjustly neglected Spanish composer Pauline Viardot (1840 – 1910). For those unfamiliar with her music, this album is the perfect introduction with winning performances by the Bulgarian soprano Ina Kancheva, ably accompanied on the piano by Ludmil Angelov.

Rejoice in the Lamb

“This is still your best yet, you know” Peter Pears told Benjamin Britten in 1944 about his veritable gem of a work, the festival cantata Rejoice in the Lamb which Britten had been commissioned to write for the 50th anniversary of St Matthew’s Church in Northampton.

A Ceremony of Carols

When Benjamin Britten (1913 – 1976) composed his magical A Ceremony of Carols in 1942 on a long sea voyage from New York to Liverpool, he little realised that he was penning what would become one of his best-loved and most performed works.

Into the Sunset: the Four Last Songs of Richard Strauss

On the morning of 30 April 1945, the same day that Adolf Hitler committed suicide in an underground bunker in Berlin,  Major John Kramers of the US Army 103rd Infantry Division and his men called on the shuttered villa at Zöppritzstrasse 42 in Garmisch-Partenkirchen in the Bavarian Alps with a view to headquarter his men…

Judgement Day

The great jazz composer, bandleader and notorious procrastinator, Duke Ellington once said “I don’t need time, I need a deadline”.