• Four Centuries of Musical Instruments

    This volume is a catalog of the rare and antique instruments in the Marlowe A. Sigal collection of Newton Centre, Massachusetts. The photographs taken by Mr. Sigal of the instruments in his collection are beautifully printed in glorious color reproductions by the publisher. It is a large format volume of about 300 pages, comprehensively indexed. […]

  • Alexandre Tansman – Music for Violin and Piano

    I have to admit I was not familiar with the music of Alexandre Tansman before receiving this disc to review. But after listening to it, and reading about him, I definitely want to hear more. Alexandre Tansman was born in Poland and always maintained he was a Polish composer, though he spent virtually all of his life in […]

  • Buxtehude – Membra Jesu intimately performed

    Buxtehude’s 1680 work “Membra Jesu Nostri Patientis Sanctissima ” is sometimes referred to as the “first Lutheran oratorio.” While the subject matter (like the Seven Last Words of Christ) tie the parts together, the composition (to my ears) sounds more like seven discreet cantatas. The text is a contemplation of seven members of Christ’s body […]

  • The Flaming Fire: Mary Queen of Scots and Her World

    Tenor and countertenor Ryland Angel and virginal player Dongsok Shin join the viol quartet Parthenia for a introspective look at the musical world of Mary, Queen of Scots. The well-balanced program includes selections native to 16th Century Scotland (both sacred and secular), music from the English court Mary may have heard during her imprisonment, and […]

  • Martin Fröst – Nordic Concertos

    Martin Fröst presents an interesting program of Nordic clarinet concertos that covers a lot of ground with just four works. The two contemporary works were composed for Fröst and differ greatly in style. The two older works call out important Nordic composers, and also differ in style. Anders Hillborg’s 1998 Clarinet Concerto (Peacock Tales) is a […]

  • Heinrich Schütz – St. Matthew’s Passion

    This release marks the half-way point for Carus’ ambitious 22-disc project, an integral set of recordings of Heinrich Schütz’s complete works. This volume presents Schütz’s 1666 setting of the St. Matthew Passion. Schütz was eighty years old, but like Monteverdi, his late works are some of his most forward-looking. At the time, instruments were banned from […]

  • Opera in Palermo

    The Teatro Massimo in Palermo, Sicily’s capital, contains Italy’s largest indoor stage and the second largest stage in Europe.  Opened on May 16, 1897, it was heavily damaged during World War II.  It featured prominently in the final scene of The Godfather.  Now restored, it presents a season comprised largely, but not exclusively, of Italian […]

  • Pepe Romero and Vicente Coves deliver on Torroba release

    This is an interesting release. Vincent Pepe and his student Vicente Coves work in tandem, each performing a concerto and a solo guitar work by Torroba — and what works! The Concierto en Flamenco was composed for Romero, who easily melds the discipline of classical playing with the fire of flamenco. Coves’ style is complementary […]

  • Praga Magna – Music in Prague During the Reign of Rudolph II

    When Rudolph II, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Hungary, Bohemia and Croatia, moved his court from Vienna to Prague in 1583, he made it an unparalleled showcase for arts and intellectual activity. Rudolph  patronized artists such as Dürer and Brueghel, amassed a collection of exotic animals, historical curiosities, and employed some of the best […]