~ Album Reviews ~

Here's an album to help us believe in pianos and pianists again. Much of this music has been recorded zillions of times and we don't need it again, but since Peter Donohoe is playing it I had to give it a spin. I was drawn in straight away and forgot that I was really worn out on "Pi...

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This is a deeply absorbing album, not to mention an unusual one. If you hear this music by the elder Louis Couperin at all it's bound to be on a harpsichord, but here we have it on a modern piano where it decidedly doesn't belong... or does it? Pianist Pavel Kolesnikov treats these "...

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I've never felt especially drawn to the music of Lutoslawski, despite having heard him described as one of the best composers of the 20th century. I remember listening to albums on which a bunch of stuff happened that apparently didn't register much. Here however is a new release tha...

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Here's an album that represents the opposite of my complaints in another review: not a bland moment here, but emotionally raw, committed and perceptive playing that more than justifies recording this music again. Dvorak's trio no. 3 in F-minor is less well-known and less-frequently p...

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Unless you're already one yourself, you need a classical-obsessed person in your life to find things like this. Here I am, your very own music-miner, and boy do I have a gem for you! Never mind the other things on this album — it's the sixth symphony by Rued Langgaard that's more tha...

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This album is full of life and interest, and you're going to want to get up and dance to some of these tracks. Jordi Savall and his people came across Peruvian manuscripts called the "Codex Trujillo", ca. 1780 around fifteen years ago, so some of these songs have shown up in quite diff...

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This frustrating release is emblematic of everything that's wrong with the classical music scene today. First question: why record this again? Granted, it's great music, but there have been so many recordings of it already, some quite recently. What's more, this same Chandos label al...

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Medtner-itis is something you catch from other Medtner nerds. Patient zero was Medtner himself, apparently criticised for writing works titled "Fairy Tale" during the first world war. That kind of myopia did pay dividends, though. While sticking stubbornly both to tonality and to a lat...

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This is a miraculous album, and in many places revelatory. Hough achieves the impossible: hiding and revealing at the same time, allowing lines to sound together in balance without ending up in the murk. Debussy's radical harmony and chewy chords and clusters are all there, but natural...

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Les Troyens

"Les Troyens" is a holy-grail opera: huge both in terms of forces required and length, difficult to stage, and difficult to perform. It's also fantastic music, though I failed to really get it from the old recording I still have buried in my stacks of CDs (and I even have a DVD video o...

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