Tools I Use: Scrivener Review

Writing about classical music is more like prose than a scientific paper or a journalistic article. As I tell my staff writers, classical music reviews need to tell a story about an album, concert, composer or composition. But telling the story only comes at the end of a process. Classical…

The Classic Review Homepage

I opened The Classic Review on September 1st, 2018. Six months later, this all classical music blog slowly but surely continues to grow, in the number of readers, social media users and newsletter subscribers. …

Truly remarkable. Album cover

Herve Niquet and his Le Concert Spirituel give us an overwhelming release, quite literally. The Missa Si Deus Pro Nobis by the French-Italian composer Orazio Benevolo is given its first ever recording in this release, and what a glorious recording it is!

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Beauty of simplicity. Album cover

There has been a wave of Haydn Piano Sonatas lately, with many of today’s most admirable pianists taking part in celebrating these endlessly fascinating works.

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A new “classic”. Album cover.

How does he do it? With every release the great American pianist Murray Perahia takes familiar works from the core of the repertoire and manages to make us listen to them afresh.

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A recording quality that few can match. Album cover.

This heavily marketed, nicely packed album has everything going for it on first look — A great Norwegian orchestra, coming our right after a critically acclaimed recording of the Bartok Concerto for Orchestra with the same ensemble and conductor. And let’s not forget a superstar soloist for the Piano Concerto.

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An all-star performance. Album cover

This is something special. Debussy intended to write a cycle of 6 Sonatas for diverse instruments, with the last Sonata being a “Concerto” for all the participating instruments. Unfortunately, he didn’t accomplish this fascinating experiment, but left us with chamber masterpieces that can stand their own.

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Altogether Enthralling. Album cover

Nemanja Radulovic third album for Deutsche Grammophon includes two old warhorses the first in its original installment and the other with an interesting twist — An adaptation of the familiar Rococo Variations for Cello and orchestra to a new version for viola, string orchestra and piano.

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Great achievement. Album cover

I like Francesco Piemontesi’s re-affirmation of his affinity to the 18th classical style. It’s nothing but brave to start off a new recording collaboration with Mozart (This is Francesco’s first album on the Linn label), as opposed to old warhorses such as Tchaikovsky or Rachmaninov. Piemontesi is a wonderful Mozartian, a composer with which he plays freely, almost improvisatory, adding well informed ornaments and lead-ins (K.537 requires this in particular, as some of the score remains in a fragmented state).

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The Interpretations of Mr. Lortie is delicate and sophisticated, as usual, but unlike the previous volume, recorded on a wonderful Fazioli Grand with excellent quality, the current volume, played on a Steinway D, tends to be muffled and unclear in the more dramatic moments.

A true shame, for what could have been a great album.

Chopin: Nocturnes, Scherzos and Sonata, Volume 1
Louis Lortie — Piano
Chandos Records, CHAN 10714

Tal Agam

Product and content manager, Writer, Pianist.

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