Superb selection of Psalms from the Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge

This recent collection of psalms from the Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge is a fine tribute to the work of Andrew Nethsingha who has been its Director of Music…

A masterly traversal of Duparc songs

The habit among composers of almost excessive self-criticism has been a curiously French phenomenon over the last century, typified by Dukas, Duruflé and his younger, more progressive contemporary Henri Dutilleux.…

Fine collaborations between Claude Debussy & Mikko Franck

Some twenty years ago Finnish conductor Mikko Franck, then in his early 20s, was considered classical music’s Next Best Thing: his debut conducting disc with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra…

Mid Wales Opera triumphs with Puss in Boots

Mid Wales Opera has virtually created an instruction manual for the performance of community-based opera in rural areas, shrink-wrapping works into spaces that rarely enjoy professional presentation.  Its month-long SmallStages…

Welsh National Opera’s The Makropulos Affair: a magnificent achievement

The question of why we should crave immortality is central to Janáček’s penultimate opera.  As a composer he defied old bones and enjoyed an Indian summer, finding recognition during his…

Characterful Mahler from Les Siècles, François-Xavier Roth and Sabine Devieilhe

Harmonia mundi’s recent disc of Mahler’s 4th Symphony provides a remarkably flowing and vivid account, fashioning a new perspective on a much-recorded work.  Inner detail is heard afresh with instruments…

Three Britten cycles – manicured performances from Andrew Staples

Poets from W.H. Auden to Shakespeare and Goethe to Racine fired Benjamin Britten’s musical imagination and kindled an artistic response that had little equal among 20th-century British composers. Nowhere do…

Bath Camerata on excellent form at Leominster Priory

Now in its fortieth year, the Presteigne Festival once again brought an eclectic mix of cultural events (music, film, art and poetry) to this unassuming Welsh border town.  Under the…

Prom 49: An overwhelming ‘Resurrection’ Symphony from Sir Simon Rattle

There can be no better venue in London for a performance of Mahler’s ’Resurrection’ Symphony than the Royal Albert Hall.  Those fortunate enough to acquire tickets for this sell-out concert…

Alice Coote & Julius Drake present a collection of popular Schubert lieder

Alice Coote’s recent disc, Schubert 21 Songs, joins an already well-filled and distinguished discography. She and her long-term collaborator Julius Drake curate a wide-ranging selection bookended by two versions each…