Music reviews

Schumann: Cello Concerto & Works for Cello and Piano by Sol Gabetta

Reviewed by Kate Rockstrom

One of the most heartbreaking things I read when doing my research for this review was that a piece that is loved and adored around the world today was never premiered during the composer’s lifetime.…

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Handel: Italian Cantatas by Sabine Devieihe & Lea Desandre

Reviewed by Alexandra Mathew

The violent and confronting tale of Lucretia’s rape at the hands of the evil Tarquinius has, for reasons I’d rather not ponder, inspired countless works of great art. Paintings, plays, narrative poem…

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Springsteen On Broadway by Bruce Springsteen

Reviewed by Lou Fulco

Towards the end of 2016, Bruce Springsteen had just released his much-anticipated autobiography, Born to Run, and completed The River Tour, which celebrated the thirty-fifth anniversary of his hit 19…

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Schmelzer: The Emperor’s Fiddler

Reviewed by Alexandra Mathew

Relatively little is known about Austrian composer Johann Heinrich Schmelzer (1623–1680), despite being described during his lifetime as ‘the famous and just about foremost violinist of all Europe’. …

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Arvo Pärt by Viktoria Mullova & Paavo Järvi

Reviewed by Kate Rockstrom

When I worked Sunday evenings at Readings in Carlton (some few years ago now) one of my favourite albums to put on in the shop to bring the vibe down and yet give it a frisson of emotion was Arvo Pär…

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Sea Glass by Grand Salvo

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

Paddy Mann’s seventh album as Grand Salvo, and – the first in six years – follows his full-hearted embrace of a theme for each record he creates. The opening track, ‘A Flux of Moments’, swells with t…

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Himmelsmusik

Reviewed by Kate Rockstrom

The celebrated Baroque harpist and theorbo player (a type of lute) Christina Pluhar is a favourite of Readings. She has consistently released superb albums bringing a new life to early European music…

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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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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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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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