• 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 […]

  • Zemlinsky Piano Music – A Ray of Light

    Alexander Zemlinsky is best remembered for his Lyric Symphony, his tone poem Die Siejungfrau and his operas — all works that take full advantage of orchestral color and the inherent lyricism of the human voice. I was quite interested, then, to hear his solo piano works. What would Zemlinsky’s music sound like stripped down to […]

  • Ferdinand Ries Violin Sonatas – Elegant and refined

    Ferdinand Ries was many things to Beethoven; student, assistant, copyist, colleague, champion. He was a virtuoso pianist went on to have a successful career both as a performer and as a composer. Reis’ 18 sonatas for violin and piano were mostly composed between 1807-1809, while he was living in Paris. And perhaps for that reason, […]

  • The Most Beautiful Opera Houses in the World

    For those of us who love opera, the experience of what we hear and see on the stage is only part of the pleasure we derive from the experience. Opera houses are far more than simply a venue for the performance. Almost from the birth of the art form in about 1600, opera houses have represented […]