Music reviews

Wanderer by Cat Power

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

Six years after her electronica-influenced album Sun, Chan Marshall returns with a pared-back, self-produced album that she has dedicated to all those who wandered before her, a notion that weaves it…

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Saint-Saëns: Piano Concertos Nos. 2 & 5 & Pieces for Solo Piano

Reviewed by Alexandra Mathew

Eight years ago, on a trip to Paris, I visited Saint-Saëns’s tomb at Montparnasse Cemetery. Not out of some kind of morbid curiosity, but instead to commune with a composer whose music I love but fee…

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Into the Fire: Live at Wigmore Hall

Reviewed by Alexandra Mathew

For me, the drawcard of mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato’s latest album, recorded live in Wigmore Hall, is not Jake Heggie’s song cycle Into the Fire, but DiDonato’s moving Richard Strauss interpretation…

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Calling the Muse: Old & New Pieces for Theorbo

Reviewed by Alexandra Mathew

Bruno Helstroffer is a master theorbist. In Calling the Muse he draws on his experience as blues guitarist and early music specialist, depicting a broad landscape for the repertoire of his instrument…

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All That Reckoning by Cowboy Junkies

Reviewed by Dave Clarke

It is 1989 and I’m driving home from a friend’s 21st birthday party out in the Yarra Valley. I am a young man who feels a little out of place at the party so decide not to take up the offer to stay o…

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Debussy: Songs Volume 4

Reviewed by Alexandra Mathew

Lucy Crowe, it would seem, is the soprano of the hour. I admit, I am biased in her favour after witnessing her glorious 2017 performance in the title role of Janáček’s Cunning Little Vixen with the B…

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Handel: Acis and Galatea

Reviewed by Alexandra Mathew

No sooner have Acis and Galatea declared their love than the evil giant (read: sexual predator) Polyphemus tears their union asunder. After doggedly but unsuccessfully pursuing Galatea, a jilted Poly…

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Bailar Cantando: Fiesta Mestiza en el Peru

Reviewed by Kate Rockstrom

Many regulars at Readings will know of Jordi Savall, the viola de gamba player and truly awe-inspiring early music specialist from Spain. Since the 1970s, Savall has been revolutionising period music…

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Bruch: Scottish Fantasy & Violin Concerto No. 1 by Joshua Bell & Academy of St Martin in the Fields

Reviewed by Kate Rockstrom

Joshua Bell is widely considered one of the best violinists in the world, and when he was made music director of the prestigious Academy of St Martin in the Fields his world reputation was cemented. …

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Sculptor by Luluc

Reviewed by Ellen Cregan

Australian indie-folk duo Luluc’s third studio album, Sculptor, is laid-back indie-folk in the vein of artists like Nick Drake, Angus and Julia Stone, and Sufjan Stevens. Randell and Hassett’s wonder…

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