Home » Archive by Author

Articles by Norman Lebrecht

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – Henselt piano works

December 2nd, 2016
henselt

Adolph von Henselt was a follower of fashion, not a leader of trends, but as Daniel Grimwoods latest release shows, he is nonetheless very much worth a listen.

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – Encores after Beethoven

November 30th, 2016
28948144754

If you thought of encores as sweetmeats, Andras Schiff’s album of encores given during a Beethoven cycle will redefine the genre.

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – Elgar and Martinu cello concertos

November 18th, 2016
gabetta

Sol Gabetta authors a splendidly distinctive interpretation of Elgar’s famous cello concerto, and pairs it with an underappreciated work in the genre by Martinu.

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – Shostakovich plays Shostakovich

November 11th, 2016
visu_shosta_by_shosta_250365_ml

The people Shostakovich played with were the elite of Russian music. A treasure trove of archive finds reveals the music they made together.

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the week – vocal works by Schoenberg & Shostakovich

November 4th, 2016
Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the week – vocal works by Schoenberg & Shostakovich

Two composers in despair composed these works for voice and piano, which contain some of the darkest moments known to music. How do they sound with a full orchestra?

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week: Kurtág string quartets

October 28th, 2016
Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week: Kurtág string quartets

Away from the imprisonment of a concert hall, György Kurtág’s string quartets create an ambience akin to Gregorian chant: it’s the perfect chillout music.

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – Tchaikovsky

October 21st, 2016
028948306565

The benchmarks for Tchaikovsky’s sixth symphony are mono in both uses of the term, aural and chromatic. How does a modern release hold up?

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week: French Suites

October 14th, 2016
Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week: French Suites

After playing all his life for Columbia Masterworks, Murray Perahia has released his first recording for Deutsche Grammophon, a luminous recording of Bach’s French Suites.

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – Schoenberg: Gurre-Lieder

October 7th, 2016
4796565

It is so rare to hear the Gurre Lieder live that most of us are acquainted with it only on record. A new concert recording of this liminal composition aims to join the pantheon.

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – Pretty Yende

September 30th, 2016
a10301a0003520186w

It is now seven years since the South African soprano Pretty Yende burst on our ears as winner of the 2009 Hans Gabor competition in Vienna. That omission has now, finally, been repaired.

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – Lang Lang: New York Rhapsody

September 23rd, 2016
cover170x170

A bizarre “crossover” album combines pop songs, fragments of Andrew Copland, Gershwin, and a dual performance by Lang Lang and Herbie Hancock. So how New York is this album?

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – Prokofiev Violin Concertos

September 16th, 2016
bis-2142

Prokofiev’s violin concertos, one anarchic, one written under duress to please Stalin, anchor an intriguing new release from Vadim Gluzman and Neeme Järvi.

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat

September 9th, 2016
8-660398

Michael Nyman’s rare and underappreciated chamber opera, based on a book by Oliver Sacks, finally gets a rare new recording.

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – Ustvolskaya, Silverstrov, Kancheli

September 2nd, 2016
GP678

The late Soviet system created damaging monopolies in the arts as much as they did in state industry. The three lesser-known composers in this intriguing album each tackled the hegemony from a different aspect.

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – Elgar Remastered

August 26th, 2016
Elgar

The last decade and a half of Elgar’s musical life was focused on leaving a legacy in the form of composer-approved recordings. A remastered 4-CD set collects the brilliant results.

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – Martinu’s Ariane

August 19th, 2016
99925420529

I am beginning to wonder if posterity will ever place Bohuslav Martinu where he justly belongs, as one who’s sound world is at once distinctive and entirely approachable, the mark of a great composer.

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – Schubert Leider

August 12th, 2016
DCD34170

It’s always a good sign when a pianist is named as the editorial force behind a lieder recital, giving the enterprise both objective distance and intellectual rigour, as it does in these Schubert leider.

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – Sibelius Symphonies

July 30th, 2016
sibelius367

The Minnesota Orchestra’s partnership with the Finnish conductor Osmo Vänskä is a treasure of our times, especially when they play music of the frozen north.

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – F.X. Mozart & Clementi piano concertos

July 22nd, 2016
Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – F.X. Mozart & Clementi piano concertos

They’re not great (in fact they’re often mild and unoriginal), but the concertos of Muzio Clementi and Mozart’s son, Frances Xaver, are nonetheless worth your time.

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – Polish Violin Concertos

July 16th, 2016
Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – Polish Violin Concertos

There used to be a truth, universally acknowledged across the record industry, that you could put out unfamiliar music with a famous artist or popular music with an unheralded performer but never attempt what Donald Rumsfeld might have called the unknown unknowns.

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – Songs without Words

July 8th, 2016
sww

They may grate in other instances, but period instruments are well suited to Mendelssohn’s Songs without Words, as this new recording demonstrates.

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – Glazunov and Khachaturian violin concertos

July 1st, 2016
Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – Glazunov and Khachaturian violin concertos

Tchaikovsky’s violin concerto towers over all other Russian efforts in the genre, but these two by Glazunov and Khachaturian deserve a wider audience.

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – Lucas Debargue

June 24th, 2016
Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – Lucas Debargue

In an era replete with talented young competition winners, Lucas Debargue, who placed fourth in the 2015 Tchaikovsky Competition, stands out.

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – Shostakovich chamber music

June 17th, 2016
4789382

These three Shostakovich chamber works span the composer’s whole career, and together they constitute a musical self-portrait with few equals.

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – All you need is Bach

June 10th, 2016
index

Cameron Carpenter is virtuosic, effervescent, totally in command of his pipes and sometimes quirky enough to make you rethink the piece from core principles. But does that approach work in Bach?

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – piano pieces by Feldman and Crumb

June 3rd, 2016
Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – piano pieces by Feldman and Crumb

Steven Osborne takes on unexpected repertoire: the ascetic Morton Feldman and the extreme George Crumb.

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – Anonymous Concertos

May 27th, 2016
Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – Anonymous Concertos

These six early-classical concertos are close to the best music of their time and yet the composers of these six concertos are unknown.

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week: Vaughan Williams Symphonies

May 20th, 2016
Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week: Vaughan Williams Symphonies

Vaughn Williams’ symphonies are too little played, and too rarely played well. The first disc of an exciting new cycle aims to change that.

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – Haydn: Violin Concertos

May 13th, 2016
Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – Haydn: Violin Concertos

A new release of an old recording prompts the question: Why are orchestra chiefs still afraid of Joseph Haydn?

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – Beethoven: symphonies 4 and 5

May 6th, 2016
Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – Beethoven: symphonies 4 and 5

Just months before his death, Nikolaus Harnoncourt made his final attempt to faithfully render Beethoven’s scores into music. Norman Lebrecht assesses his valediction.

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – Mahler: 3rd symphony

April 29th, 2016
Mahler 3 cover 400 x 400

Mahler’s Third is a challenge of both organization and interpretation. Does Jaap van Zweeden’s new live recording deserve a place among the greats?

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – DG: The Mono Era

April 22nd, 2016
4795516

The DG represented in this massive box of rarities is a label under post-War reconstruction, fascinating in its rigour and frugality.

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – Argerich and Barenboim

April 16th, 2016
cover170x170

Martha Argerich and Daniel Barenboim, born a year apart in Buenos Aires to Jewish mothers of Russian extraction, have left it until their mid-seventies to discover common ground.

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – Lutoslawski: Concerto for Orchestra

April 8th, 2016
ALPHA232

Unlike most composers, Lutoslawski’s star has risen since his death. A new pairing of pairing of orchestral works shows why.

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week: Pasternak and Scriabin

April 1st, 2016
Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week: Pasternak and Scriabin

Out of Russia’s close-knit musical world, Ludmila Berlinskaya brings us Scriabin–and works from his son and the son of a man who painted him.

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – Beethoven, Britten, Haydn: British songs

March 26th, 2016
900131

Beethoven and Haydn scored Scottish and Welsh ballads for easy money; Britten set folk songs for tours of the front during World War II. Yet the results belie the music’s incidental origins.

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – Debussy, Elgar &c: violin sonatas

March 18th, 2016
880040415923

A new album of rare quality features four works for violin and piano, all composed during World War I, all played flawlessly.

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – British Clarinet Concertos Vol. 2

March 11th, 2016
CHAN 10891

Confiscated by US Customs during World War II, a reconstructed Britten concerto caps a disc of rare British music.

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – Mahler

March 4th, 2016
900143

Yannick Nézet-Séguin’s Mahler 1st is unlike any other – but does this young man’s Mahler miss the point? Norman Lebrecht investigates.

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – Stephan and Magnard

February 26th, 2016
Magnard Stephan

A new album features two composers joined by tragic deaths on opposite sides of the First World War.

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – Ivry Gitlis

February 19th, 2016
SWR19005CD

Ivry Gitlis lives on – and he’s a legend. Norman Lebrecht reviews the violinist’s newest.

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – Medtner/Rachmaninov

February 12th, 2016
Sudbin

“Something clicks in the opening track of this album in a way this listener seldom experiences, in concert or on record.” Yevgeny Sudbin plays Medtner and Rachmaninov. Norman Lebrecht reviews.

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – Dvorak/Janacek

February 5th, 2016
Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – Dvorak/Janacek

“There is nothing like a Czech string quartet.” Norman Lebrecht reviews the newest from the Wihan Quartet.

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – Manhattan Intermezzo

January 28th, 2016
Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – Manhattan Intermezzo

This week’s CD features concertos by Neil Sedaka and Duke Ellington keyboardist Keith Emerson, and the only weak point is Rhapsody in Blue. Norman Lebrecht explains.

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – The Westminster Legacy

February 7th, 2014
dg4792343

An extraordinary 40 CD box-set compiles the uncollected glories of the great classical label Westminster Records

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – Delius in Norway

January 16th, 2014
chandoschsa5131

Frederick Delius can be an acquired taste. Now a new recording tries to win listeners over with some of his most intriguing compositions. Norman Lebrecht reviews.

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – André Tchaikovsky

January 8th, 2014
TOCC 0204 Booklet Amended.indd

For many years he was known as the man who left his skull to the Royal Shakespeare Company for use in the gravediggers’ scene in Hamlet. But a new album showcases André Tchaikovsky’s inimitable music.

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – James MacMillan

December 17th, 2013
linnckd439

The album of the week is the unmatched choral music of James MacMillan and Capella Nova

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – Splinters

December 5th, 2013
ODRCD307

There’s a certain unforgettable sound that can only come from Hungarian composers; a new recording of György Kurtág’s Splinters suite captures it with bracing clarity

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – String Quartets

November 28th, 2013
ecm4763942

The Zehetmair Quartet delivers a rich new recording of music by Beethoven, Bruckner, Hartmann and Holliger

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – Natalie Dessay

November 20th, 2013
erato9341452

The great Natalie Dessay is back … this time singing movie soundtracks? Norman Lebrecht listens.

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – Lang Lang and Simon Rattle

November 13th, 2013
sony88883732262

Lang Lang unites with Sir Simon Rattle and the Berlin Symphony Orchestra unite to perform two of the world’s most show-stopping piano concertos

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – Antonio Meneses & Maria Joao Pires

October 16th, 2013
4790965

Deutsche Grammophon brings forth a stunning recital at Wigmore Hall by Portuguese musicians Antonio Meneses & Maria Joao Pires. Norman Lebrecht reviews.

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – Boris Giltburg

October 8th, 2013
orchidclassicsorc100035

Pianist Boris Giltburg’s somber, beautiful new album shows a heartening independent spirit. Norman Lebrecht reviews.

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – Diana Damrau

October 2nd, 2013
5099960266620_M

The songs to My Fair Lady, sung in German? Just one of the idiosyncrasies of Diana Damrau’s irresistible new vocal album.

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – Wagner’s Piano Sonatas

September 25th, 2013
cpo7778002

In 1832, nineteen-year-old Richard Wagner composed two piano sonatas in an effort to fill the vacuum left by Beethoven’s death. Norman Lebrecht discusses the results.

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – Hanns Eisler: Serious Songs

September 19th, 2013
harmoniamundihmc902134

Behold: a near perfect album. German baritone Matthias Goerne soars in a new recording of the music of Hanns Eisler.

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – Kuniko Kato

August 29th, 2013
ckd-432

Kuniko Kato, percussion virtuoso, uses marimbas, crotales, bells and vibraphones to adapt the work of classical composers

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – Vladimir Horowitz in London

August 21st, 2013
146834

In 1982, Vladimir came to London and gave his first recital in Europe in 31 years. The release of that performance is something no piano lover can do without.

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – Peter Grimes

August 7th, 2013
signumsigcd348

In June, Britten’s “Peter Grimes” was staged on the beach at the Aldeburgh Festival of Music. The results, Norman Lebrecht writes, were remarkable.

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – Artur Schnabel

August 1st, 2013
0761203747122

The great Austrian pianist Artur Schnabel was in his mind a composer first and foremost. Norman Lebrecht reviews a recording of his piano works.

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – Down by the Sea

July 24th, 2013
8967753

It’s only July, but Norman Lebrecht may have found his choral album of the year. A review of the magnificent folk songs in Naxos’s “Down by the Sea.”

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – Raluca Stirbat

July 17th, 2013
cover1

In her newest release, Romanian pianist Raluca Stirbat turns out some exceptionally supple recitals of Bartok and Debussy

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – Timo Andres

July 10th, 2013
timo-andres-home-stretch-450

In his new album “Home Stretch,” Timo Andres adapts–or is the word mauls?–some classic Mozart compositions

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – Elliott Carter

July 3rd, 2013
9396

A collection of uncommonly whimsical music highlights a retrospective album of the late composer Elliott Carter. Norman Lebrecht listens, and smiles.

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – Paul Ben-Haim

June 26th, 2013
CHAN 10769

A new album of the chamber music of one of Israel’s foremost composer’s, Paul Ben-Haim. Norman Lebrecht listens.

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – Chopin, Dutilleux

June 19th, 2013
champshillrecordschrcd061

Chopin and Dutilleux: two composers, separated by a century and more, are joined by a city and its culture. Norman Lebrecht reviews a new album of their preludes.

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – Conrad Tao

June 12th, 2013
5099993447621_M

One of EMI Classics’ final albums, by 19-year-old Conrad Tao, is an instant collectible. But how is the music?

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – Fairy Tales

June 5th, 2013
5060189560301

A batch of bedtime stories, wickedly recited by top actors, interspersed with music derived from the selfsame fairy tales. Why had no one thought of this before?

Norman Lebrecht’s CD of the Week – Shostakovich’s 7th Symphony

May 8th, 2013
naxos8573057

The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic brings forth a dazzling recording of Shostakovich’s “Leningrad Symphony”

Norman Lebrecht’s CD of the Week – Valentin Silvestrov

May 1st, 2013
GP639

Ukrainian composer Valentin Silvestrov’s enigmatic and disturbing ‘Naive Music’ gets a new recording from pianist Elisaveta Blumina

Norman Lebrecht’s CD of the Week – The Edge of Light

April 24th, 2013
harmoniamundihmu907578

Norman Lebrecht reviews a remarkable recording of little-known piano music by Olivier Messiaen and Kaija Saariaho

Norman Lebrecht’s CD of the Week – Lionel Bringuier & Nelson Freire

April 19th, 2013
belairclassiquesbac479

In collaboration with Brazilian soloist Nelson Freire, Wunderkind Lionel Bringuier conducts the 2010 BBC Proms concert in a stirring new DVD release

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – Béla Bartók: Kossuth

April 10th, 2013
cpo7777842

Norman Lebrecht reviews a new recording of Kossuth, a rare and distinctive turn by Béla Bartók into mainstream romanticism.

Norman Lebrecht’s CD of the Week – Valentina Lisitsa

March 13th, 2013
Norman Lebrecht’s CD of the Week – Valentina Lisitsa

Youtube sensation Valentina Lisitsa has put out the finest recording of Rachmaninov’s piano concertos in decades. Norman Lebrecht reviews.

Norman Lebrecht’s CD of the Week – Satie & Compagnie

February 27th, 2013
Norman Lebrecht’s CD of the Week – Satie & Compagnie

In a hypnotizing new recording from Mirare, pianist Anne Quéffélec performs the soothing chillout music of Frenchman Erik Satie–don’t listen while driving.

Norman Lebrecht’s CD of the Week – The Coral Sea

February 20th, 2013
Norman Lebrecht’s CD of the Week – The Coral Sea

Six works by five living British composers for soprano saxophone – you’re shaking your head, but “The Coral Sea” is one of the musical delights of the year

Norman Lebrecht’s CD of the Week – Scarlatti Illuminated

February 6th, 2013
Norman Lebrecht’s CD of the Week – Scarlatti Illuminated

Domenico Scarlatti has always been overshadowed by his contemporaries Bach and Handel. A new recording of his solo sonatas brings his gorgeous music front and center.

Norman Lebrecht’s CD of the Week – Andrzej Panufnik

January 30th, 2013
Norman Lebrecht’s CD of the Week – Andrzej Panufnik

The works of Polish emigre Andrzej Panufnik course with passion and political subtext. Norman Lebrecht reviews a new recording of Symphonies 7 and 8.

CD of the Week – Dinu Lipatti

January 23rd, 2013
CD of the Week – Dinu Lipatti

Romanian pianist Dinu Lipatti died of cancer at age 33, but left behind a treasure trove of adventurous, intellectually satisfying piano music. Norman Lebrecht reviews a new double-CD of Lipatti’s work.

CD of the Week – Elgar, Carter: Cello Concertos

January 15th, 2013
CD of the Week – Elgar, Carter: Cello Concertos

Jacqueline du Pré’s performance of Elgar’s cello concerto is so legendary that few artists have dared to challenge it. Now Alisa Weilerstein does so, in an astonishing new recording. Norman Lebrecht reviews

CD of the Week – Alexandre Tharaud plays Mauricio Kagel

January 2nd, 2013
CD of the Week – Alexandre Tharaud plays Mauricio Kagel

2013 gets off to a smashing start with Alexandre Tharaud’s wild new recording of the works of postmodernist composer Mauricio Kagel. Norman Lebrecht reviews.

Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Year

December 12th, 2012
51O-ZNV91FL._AA160_

It’s been a bumper year for vocal recitals, but Norman Lebrecht has selected the best of the bunch–and the best album of 2012

CD of the Week – Voyages-Reisen

December 5th, 2012
CD of the Week – Voyages-Reisen

A compelling new recording of compositions for the viola da gamba, an ancestor of the cello, is just the antidote to predictable radio classical fare

CD of the Week – Fazil Say

November 28th, 2012
CD of the Week – Fazil Say

The embattled Turkish composer Fazil Say releases a symphony rooted in the sounds of his homeland. Norman Lebrecht reviews.

CD of the Week – The Irish Piano

November 21st, 2012
CD of the Week – The Irish Piano

Too little is known about the importance of Irish composer John Field on 19th century music. An exciting new CD brings his wide influence to light.

CD of the Week – Portuguese Love Songs

November 7th, 2012
8853175

An English traveller once described the Portuguese love ballad as ‘the most seducing, the most voluptuous music imaginable.’ A new CD reminds of us its delights.

CD of the Week – Vivaldi’s Four Seasons Recomposed

October 31st, 2012
MI0003427249

You may wonder if Vivaldi’s overexposed Four Seasons needs a new recording, but Max Richter’s inspired recomposition gives the hoary old favorite a shot in the arm

CD of the Week – Carl Nielsen

October 24th, 2012
CD of the Week – Carl Nielsen

New for classical music lovers is an invigorating recording of the symphonies of Danish composer Carl Nielsen, as well as a trio of dazzling piano recitals. As always, Norman Lebrecht reviews.

CD of the Week – Anu Komsi

October 17th, 2012
35373682_300x300_1

Norman Lebrecht reviews a five-star recording from the extraordinary Finnish soprano Anu Komsi

CD of the Week – Glenn Gould: The Schwarzkopf Tapes

October 3rd, 2012
8.572207

The deeply unlikely pairing of pianist Glenn Gould and soprano Elisabeth Schwarzkopf was deemed a flop when it took place in 1966–now some of the never-before-published recordings have come out, and they’re well worth the wait.

CD of the Week – Jon Lord

September 18th, 2012
concerto-2012

Jon Lord, the founder of Deep Purple, brings out a concerto that fuses elements of classical music, rock, and ballad singing. Norman Lebrecht reviews the results.

CD of the Week – Stephen Hough

September 12th, 2012
MI0003375960

A CD of piano recitals dubbed “The French Album” stars an English pianist and includes pieces by Bach and Liszt. Norman Lebrecht sorts out the confusion.

CD of the Week: Bononcini

September 5th, 2012
cover

Norman Lebrecht reviews a new recording of the music of Handel’s contemporary Bononcini–but which Bononcini are we talking about? In addition are three notable CDs for John Cage’s centenary.

CD of the Week – Homage to Glenn Gould

August 29th, 2012
Cover_MAR0530_160_160_501a4c046858c

Glenn Gould would have turned 80 next month; his legacy is celebrated with a diverse and sometimes instrumentally daring homage

CD of the Week – Nicola Benedetti

August 22nd, 2012
4783529

Wunderkind violinist Nicola Benedetti delivers her best album to date with this thoughtful selection of concertos and film themes

CD of the Week – Clifford Curzon

August 8th, 2012
4784389

A teeming new multi-volume box-set from Decca showcases the magisterial piano performances of Clifford Curzon

CD of the Week – Arnold Schoenberg’s Songs

August 1st, 2012
61ZnDvozzbL._SL500_AA300_

Who knew that the avant-garde Austrian composer Arnold Schoenberg wrote so many songs? They’re brought together in a revealing new four-disc collection.

CD of the Week – Beethoven’s Viola

July 24th, 2012
MI0003330455

Violas are the most overlooked of instruments, but not by Beethoven–an intriguing new release brings together his music for the violin’s deeper-voiced sibling

CD of the Week – Ernest Bloch’s Hebrew Rhapsody

July 18th, 2012
champshillrecordschrcd035

Natalie Clein delivers an extraordinary performance of Ernest Bloch’s Schelomo, in a disc featuring other classic Jewish music. Norman Lebrecht reviews.

CD of the Week: Sounds of the 30s

June 27th, 2012
rudistephan

The amazing duo of Stefano Bollani and Riccardo Chailly return with the inter-war music of Ravel, Stravinsky, Kurt Weill, and Victor de Sabata.

CD of the Week – Arias for Guadagni

June 20th, 2012
51AycD1NarL._SL500_AA300_

In his CD of the Week recommendation, Norman Lebrecht discovers the brilliant exception to a rule, an aria recital disc worth buying

CD of the Week — Vivaldi’s Chamber Sonatas

June 13th, 2012
745882

Against all expectations arrives a fantastic new recording of Vivaldi’s sonatas, courtesy of L’Estravagante. Norman Lebrecht reviews.

CD of the Week — Nikolai Medtner

June 6th, 2012
melodiyamelcd1001927

These rare recordings illuminate the valuable contributions of the Russian composer (and contemporary of Rachmaninov’s) Nikolai Medtner

CD of the Week: Schubert String Quartets

May 30th, 2012
virgin6025122

The Artemis Quartet brings forth a brilliant recording of Schubert’s string quartets 13, 14, and 15 — that plus three notable new releases of the music of Shostakovich

CDs of the Week: New Names at the Piano

May 23rd, 2012
vinnitskaya

The steady rush of talented new pianists can be overwhelming. Norman Lebrecht helps locate the gold from the dross.

CD of the Week – A Rush of Mieczyslaw Weinbergs

May 16th, 2012
Weinberg_sy3_chsa5089

Four new recordings celebrate the oft-forgotten Russian composer Mieczylaw Weinberg. Norman Lebrecht reviews.

CD of the Week – Philip Glass’s 9th Symphony

May 9th, 2012
denk-ligeti–beethoven

Philip Glass’s ninth symphony has some of the minimalist traits listeners will expect–but also a number of surprises

CD of the Week – Rachmaninov’s 5th Piano Concerto

May 2nd, 2012
n36257uniep

In a clever ploy to extend the copyright of Sergei Rachmaninov’s music, Alexander Warenberg has fiddled with the composer’s second symphony to create a so-called “fifth” piano concerto. Norman Lebrecht reviews the results.

CD of the Week – Elgar Conducts Elgar

April 25th, 2012
1257

Every conductor tries to locate the key to Edward Elgar’s famous compositions — a new release lets listeners hear how Elgar interpreted himself

CDs of the Week – Gustav Mahler

April 18th, 2012
panclassicspc10262

A year after the centennial of his death, Gustav Mahler is still inspiring interesting performances. Norman Lebrecht listens to five newly released recordings.

CD of the Week – Henryk Mikolaj Górecki: Totus Tuus

April 11th, 2012
bachcrossings

Music from the adventurous Polish composer Henryk Mikolaj Górecki finds a perfect match with the National Youth Choir of Great Britain.

CD of the Week – Anton Rubinstein: Persian Love Songs

April 4th, 2012
persian2

19th-century Russian composer Anton Rubinstein has always been justifiably overshadowed by Tchaikovsky, but a new recording of his Persian music proves a surprising delight

CD of the Week – Elgar’s Cello Concerto

March 28th, 2012
rca88697871472

Norman Lebrecht spotlights a striking new recording of a piece that has eluded musicians for years, Edward Elgar’s cello concerto

CD of the Week – Brahms performed by friends and colleagues

March 21st, 2012
blockspanish

Arbiter Records gathers together some remarkable archival rarities of Brahms recordings. Norman Lebrecht reviews.

CD of the Week – Erik Chisholm: Piano Concertos 1 & 2

March 14th, 2012
328936_227323820652673_157849914266731_707050_1773588_o-1-13092011-1305

Acquaint yourself with newly recorded Piano Concertos from the talented, eclectic, and little-known Scottish composer Erik Chisholm

CD of the Week – Renée Fleming: Poèmes

March 7th, 2012
Lonely-Motel

Renée Fleming sings “sensual French masterpieces” on a new album from Decca–but are the results as evocative as the billing?

CD of the Week – Debussy’s Clair de Lune

February 22nd, 2012
ONYX4089_225

The great Natalie Dessay is at her best in this recording of Claude Debussy’s early piano suites

CD of the Week – John Cage’s Complete Piano Music

February 15th, 2012
1731rcs

A bursting box set contains all of the piano music from the iconoclastic American composer John Cage