• Tasmin Little – British Violin Sonatas Vol. 2

    You don’t have to be Czech to play Dvorak, Spanish to play Rodrigo, nor British to play Vaughan Williams. And yet an artist who shares the composer’s nationality often brings a deeper understanding to the music, a certain authenticity to the performances. That thought occurred to me as I listened to British Violin Sonatas, Volume […]

  • Ferdinand Ries – Cello Sonatas in the Rough

    Ferdinand Ries was an accomplished pianist and composer who came to Vienna to study with Beethoven. The two became quite close (in addition to being his student, Ries also served as Beethoven’s copyist and personal assistant). And one can hear that closeness in most of Ries’ compositions. The statement of the themes, the organization and […]

  • New recording of Dett’s “The Ordering of Moses” pays a debt

    This release of R. Nathaniel Dett’s “The Ordering of Moses” is important for several reasons. It’s a performance by the commissioning ensemble, it revives a major work by a black composer and it rights a wrong. R. Nathaniel Dett (born in Canada) was a well-known black pianist, choral conductor, arranger, and composer who spent most […]

  • Both Scarlatti and Martini delight with La Dirindina

    I wish I spoke Italian. If I did, I expect I’d enjoy these two versions of La Dirindina even more than I did. Nevertheless, the broadly played performances of the singers (particularly Carlo Torriani), gave me a general idea of the humorous interplay going on in this opera buffa. In the early 1700s, humorous musical […]

  • Cherubini and Cambini String Trios

    This collection of world premiere recordings makes for an appealing program. Luigi Cherubini and Giuseppe Cambini, though contemporaries, occupied different roles in the Parisian music scene of the early 1800s. These works show both the connections and the distinctions between the opera composer (Cherubini) and the master of chamber music (Cambini). Cherubini spent most of […]

  • Lambeth Live airs concert from Staunton Music Festival, Aug 12

    The 2016 Staunton Music Festival begins on Friday, August 12 and runs through August 21. WTJU joins the Festival by broadcasting its first concert, Ile de France, which takes place at noon on Friday, August 12.  WTJU will air that performance during its Friday concert program, Lambeth Live, from 8-9 pm (edt). It’s your chance […]

  • Robert Fuchs Chamber Music Rates a Listen

    The perception of classical music is that its immutable — the great composers have always been considered great, and the works we revere have always been so. Of course the reality is quite different. Take Robert Fuchs, for example. At the turn of the 20th Century he was considered one of the greatest living composers. […]

  • Michael Torke – Concerto for Orchestra runs true to form

    I’ve liked everything I’ve heard by Michael Torke. In my opinion, his musical style seems to sit a sweet spot — his language is tonal without being tied to tradition, his rhythms propulsive without the intense repetition of minimalism (some consider him post-minimalist). The Concerto for Orchestra starts with a very simple motif — C-G-C-A. […]

  • Isidora Žebeljan Chamber Music – simple yet complex

    This was a difficult release to review. It was easy to form an option (I really enjoyed it). But trying to describe Serbian composer Isadora Žebeljan’s music to someone who’s not familiar with it is something of a challenge. The liner notes gave it a try: “Isidora Žebeljan grew up listening to Serbian, Romanian, Hungarian […]