Music reviews

Baroque: Music for Viola by Nils Mönkemeyer

Reviewed by Kate Rockstrom

Finally after all these years of reviews, I have a virtuosic viola album to review! The ‘King of Instruments’ (as it has been dubbed in certain circles), is often the considered the poor cousin to th…

Read more ›

Wayfaring by Umberto Clerici & Karin Schaupp

Reviewed by Alexandra Mathew

Wayfaring, a collaboration between Italian-Australian cellist Umberto Clerici and German-Australian guitarist Karin Schaupp, traces a path ‘from birth to death, with everything in between’. Consideri…

Read more ›

Djarimirri by Gurrumul

Reviewed by Paul Barr

Djarimirri was four years in the making. It features twelve beautifully harmonised chants and traditional songs. The dynamic, modern, orchestral arrangements remind me of the work of Philip Glass and…

Read more ›

Vocalise by Nuria Rial

Reviewed by Alexandra Mathew

Heitor Villa-Lobos dreamt up the imaginative combination of eight cellos and soprano soloist. His famous composition for such an ensemble is Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5 – part vocalise and part lamen…

Read more ›

After Bach by Brad Mehldau

Reviewed by Alexandra Mathew

I come to Brad Mehldau’s latest album After Bach with classical rather than jazz ears. The album is structured around excerpts from Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, Books I and II, and each alternate tr…

Read more ›

Whistle Down the Wind by Joan Baez

Reviewed by Paul Barr

Joan Baez has emerged from a 10-year hiatus with a powerful new studio album. Her voice has a different range, earthier and more contemporary. Many of the songs on Whistle Down the Wind are reflectio…

Read more ›

The Verdi Album by Sonya Yoncheva

Reviewed by Alexandra Mathew

Sonya Yoncheva’s voice is big and bold and soars above the orchestra like a gloriously voluptuous bird of prey. This young Bulgarian soprano is a principal artist at the Metropolitan Opera in New Yor…

Read more ›

Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov & Shostakovich by the Orava Quartet

Reviewed by Kate Rockstrom

Did we need yet another string quartet album in the world? I didn’t think so, until I listened to the latest release from Deutsche Grammophon of an Australian group, the Orava Quartet. What is most a…

Read more ›

Make Way for Love by Marlon Williams

Reviewed by Declan Murphy

Many moons ago, I was privileged enough to witness a very intimate gig at the sorely missed Pure Pop records in St Kilda by a then unknown, fresh-faced Kiwi ex-pat by the name of Marlon Williams. Th…

Read more ›

Reich: Pulse/Quartet by International Contemporary Ensemble & Colin Currie Group

Reviewed by Kate Rockstrom

People often remark that Steve Reich’s music can be an acquired taste, one only for those serious, modern-classical music listeners wanting to expand their horizons. As someone who has been firmly en…

Read more ›