Music reviews

Silver Age: Scriabin, Stravinsky & Prokofiev by Daniil Trifonov

From 1890 through to the revolution and the first two decades of the 20th century, Russia was gripped with creative fever. The poets, musicians and artists of the era were all producing great works a…

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Crossover by Emma Donovan & The Putbacks

Acclaimed Gumbaynggirr, Dunghutti and Yamatji soul queen Emma Donovan returns after a six-year absence with Crossover, another cracking album made with her long-time collaborators the Putbacks.

A b…

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Serenades: Tchaikovsky, Elgar & Mozart by Daniel Hope & Zürcher Kammerorchester

‘I’m inclined to knock music’, my colleague Phil wryly jokes at the mention of Mozart’s oft-performed serenade Eine Kleine Nachtmusik. Overdone though it may be, in the hands of the right musicians w…

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Carl Maria von Weber: The Clarinet Concertos

Beautiful, lush romantic strings set this recording off. Then the clarinet enters, with a wailing sound – not at all what I was expecting. There is an edge to the clarinet tone, with a brightness tha…

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Antonio Vivaldi: Lost Concertos for Anna Maria

There was a time in Venice when baby girls could be dropped through a slot, similar to a libraryreturns chute, and so be abandoned to be raised in a convent. If a young girl was (relatively speaking)…

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Idiot Prayer by Nick Cave

Recorded at the magnificent and historic Alexandra Palace in North London as the UK was emerging from its first COVID-19 lockdown in July this year, Idiot Prayer – Nick Cave Alone at Alexandra Palace

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Chanson d’Amour by Sabine Devieilhe & Alexandre Tharaud

In Chanson d’Amour, heavenly-voiced Sabine Devieilhe takes us on a journey to France, via the music of Fauré, Ravel, Poulenc and Debussy. I know her best as an opera singer possessed of a stratospher…

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Letter To You by Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band go back a long way – they first played together almost five decades ago, in 1972. Springsteen selected the members of this band to back him on his debut record…

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Vivaldi: Works for Clarinet and Orchestra Martin Frost & Concerto Koln

Historians believe that the clarinet was first invented around 1700. At the time, composers were demanding more from their musicians, and trumpeters were not able to cope with the fast passages in th…

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Britten: Peter Grimes by Edward Gardner & Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra

To visit Benjamin Britten’s home of Aldeburgh is to enter the world of Peter Grimes. Standing on the beach, listening to the waves roll in from the North Sea, is to hear the very sound that inspired …

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