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BWV 21 und BWV 66

Within of the sea of Bach cantatas there are some outstanding works to be found.Here are 2 highlights: one of the most expressive of all cantatas is Nr.21 “Ich hatte viel Bekuemmernis”, the opening Sinfonia a spellbinding experience. On a brighter note BWV 66 in its dancing and jubilant, irresistible demeanour. Both are performed by […]

Forgotten British composers 3

George Dyson wrote a substantial large scale symphony and violin concerto among many choral works and an oratorio. I was always particularly fond of his ‘Concerto leggiero’ for piano and orchestra. Here is a Spotify link to this charming work. spotify:album:5eFzlVrku98TiqoqaF9SyN Information about Dyson can be found here: http://www.dysontrust.org.uk

Chopin from 1946

If I would have to take one piano recording to a desert island it would be a comparatively clear choice for me. For years on end I have never stopped being amazed and moved by Maryla Jonas and her version of some Chopin Mazurkas recorded in 1946. Hard to say what to admire most: the […]

A Strauss surprise

For all the connaisseurs out there who thought Josef Lhevinne’s legendary version of Schulz Evler’s Arabesque on ” An der schoenen blauen Donau ” could never have been surpassed by anybody ever : think twice. An astonishing version is to be found by Lous Kentner. Kentner is extremely charming and catches the Viennese style, whereas […]

Babyn Yar 29th/30th September 1941

Exactly 75 years ago, between the 29th and 30th of September 1941 the Nazis killed 33.000 Jewish people outside Kiew in an mass execution that lasted 36 hours. This massacre was one of many only and there were only 29 survivors. In Dmitri Shostakovich’s 13th Symphony the first movement ( titled ‘Babi Yar’ ) deals […]

Lee Luvisi

So far everything I have come across from this pianist was hugely enjoyable, sometimes truly revealing interpretations ( eg the Mozart Variation set ). His total command of the structure in combination with a most beautiful piano sound is a rare quality. And he has a hugely diverse repertoire. So here is a recording of […]

Forgotten British composers part 2

One of the most curious phenomena in classical music is the undervaluation of British composers. Neither the Brits themselves, who are often blasé about their own composers nor the European continent take much notice of the richness in British music. Here is another nearly completely forgotten gem: Hubert Parry, and as a taster his 2nd […]

In Paradisum

This version of Faure’s Requiem for string ensemble, organ soloist and choir is one of 3 around and it is the most intimate one. This particular recording here with the Winchester Choir ( we used to live only a few miles from that beautiful town for 11 years ) is especially notable for the beauty […]

Two XX. century piano milestones

Stockhausen’s Klavierstueck X and Messiaen’s ‘La fauvette des jardins’ are two of the most demanding and uncompromising works for piano in the 20th century. Here are two outstanding performances: Maurizio Pollini performing Stockhausen and Hyeonjun Jo Messiaen. Both pieces seem twins in a way and never has Messiaen sounded more radical than in this addition […]

Forgotten British composers part 1

I have a lifelong affinity for British composers and the works of Arnold Bax, George Dyson, Granville Bantock, Frederick Delius, Ernest John Moeran to name a few have become very familiar to me. It is very satisfying when one discovers from time to time a completely new name, and here is one: Sir John Blackwood […]