Quatuor Diotima evince a thorough command of György Ligeti’s style, as well as a breathtaking grasp of the demands he makes on the instruments.
Classical Album Review: The Late Pianist Lars Vogt — A Brilliant and Immensely Loved Musician
I feel that I have lost a dear friend whom I met through profoundly heartfelt recordings and, in the form of interviews, inspiring self-portraits.
August Short Fuses – Materia Critica
Each month, our arts critics — music, book, theater, dance, television, film, and visual arts — fire off a few brief reviews.
Listening During Covid, Part 11: Making Classical Music New in All Kinds of Ways
Two exquisite sopranos bring us refreshing songs, arias, and cantatas; and a noted Broadway composer and a remarkable Black librettist offer a searing opera about police brutality.
October Short Fuses – Materia Critica
Each month, our arts critics — music, book, theater, dance, and visual arts — fire off a few brief reviews.
Classical CD Reviews: François-Xavier Roth and Schumann, Herbert Blomstedt and Brahms, and Daniel Barenboim and Elgar
Françoix-Xavier Roth delivers a must-have cycle of Robert Schumann’s symphonies; Herbert Blomstedt’s Brahms’s Symphony no. 1 is spacious, restrained, and – too often – dull; Daniel Barenboim’s latest Elgar installment features a regrettably unsung masterpiece.
Classical CD Reviews: Michael Tilson Thomas’ “From the Diary of Anne Frank,” Nielsen Symphonies nos. 1 & 2, and Arabella Steinbacher’s “Four Seasons”
This San Francisco Symphony release proves to be a fitting send-off for music director Michael Tilson Thomas; there’s much to admire in the Seattle Symphony’s playing of Carl Nielsen’s first two symphonies; fiery energy from both violinist Arabella Steinbacher and the excellent Münchener Kammerorchester make their new disk a gem.
Classical CD Reviews: Beethoven Complete Piano Concerto Box Sets
It’s Beethoven’s 250th birthday year: reviews of four sets of the complete piano concertos from, respectively, Paul Lewis, Stewart Goodyear, Inon Barnatan, and Stephen Hough.
Classical CD Reviews: Offenbach Fantastique!, Mascagni’s “Cavalleria rusticana,”and Rossini Project vol. 2
More proof that Offenbach’s is a remarkable body of work; a serviceable, but not particularly notable, Cavalleria rusticana; another installment in the Rossini Project, brilliantly curated, stirringly played and sung, and beautifully recorded.
Classical CD Reviews: “Aspects of America: The Pulitzer Edition,” Morton Gould “Symphonettes,” and Lindberg conducts Bernstein
Lovers of American music, don’t miss Aspects of America: The Pulitzer Edition ; Lindberg’s recording of Leonard Bernstein’s first two symphonies lacks a compelling command of the musician’s singular voice; the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra tackles four pieces by Morton Gould.