• Sacabuche! Performs 17th Century Italian Motet

    The early baroque practice of doubling voices with trombones is well-known. Although instruments weren’t always specified, there were plenty of woodcuts and paintings illustrating the practice. The baroque trombone, or sackbut, had a smaller bore than a modern instrument, but otherwise quite similar. Scholarship has led to informed performance practices that incorporate trombones into baroque […]

  • Hermann Goetz Piano Concertos – Brahms’ rival?

    According to George Bernard Shaw, “Hermann Goetz alone among the modern symphonists is easily and unaffectedly successful from beginning to end. He has the charm of Schubert… the refinement and inspiration of Mendelssohn… Schumann’s sense of harmonic expression… Brahms, who alone touches [Goetz] in mere brute musical faculty, is a dolt in comparison to him.” […]

  • David Starobin hits milestone with New Music for Guitar

    As David Starobin points out in the liner notes for this release, this series started over 35 years ago. The first three volumes were on LP, but as times changed, so did the media. This volume is available as a CD,  digital download, and is found on many streaming services. But while the delivery has […]

  • Neeme Järvi conducts Jacques Ibert: sumptuous

    There’s a reason Chandos released this in the SACD format. Neeme Järvi and the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande perform Ibert’s orchestral works with sympathy and panache — and subtle inflection. And that means every sonic detail is important. As recorded by Chandos, the orchestra, performing in Victoria Hall, Geneva, has a rich, seamless ensemble […]

  • 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 […]