Presto News - 28th February 2011

Tomás Luis de Victoria

2011 marks the 400th anniversary of the death of Tomás Luis de Victoria and is therefore perhaps a good time to both re-evaluate his importance and introduce his music to new audiences. The vocal group ‘The Sixteen’ under Harry Christophers certainly think so as they’re spending most of the year touring the UK performing his music, and in preparation for that have recently released a new CD on their own label Coro – titled ‘Hail, Mother of the Redeemer’.

Tomás Luis de Victoria
Tomás Luis de Victoria

As the title suggests the music was all written in honour of the Virgin Mary. The centrepiece is the magnificent Missa Alma Redemptoris Mater, but the whole disc is full of sublime and beautiful music. This is the fifth disc of Victoria’s music that The Sixteen have recorded and considering that he wrote only a fifth of the quantity of music that his more famous contemporary Palestrina wrote (Lassus wrote even more), you perhaps start to appreciate the very high quality of his relatively small output.

Victoria was undoubtedly the greatest composer of the Spanish sixteenth-century ‘golden age’ of polyphonic music. Born in Avila in 1548, he was perhaps fortunate to live at the height of the Counter-Reformation. This was a time of great vitality for the Roman Catholic Church and a time when composers and musicians played a prominent role within it. It is therefore perhaps not surprising that, unlike many of his contemporaries, he published only sacred music.

Victoria spent much of his working life in Rome and this seems to have given him an almost unique compositional voice. Soaking up the Italian traditions in Rome means that his polyphonic writing and counterpoint is immaculate, giving his music a real polish and refinement. However, never far from the surface are his Iberian roots, full of fire, and giving his music a real richness and full-bloodedness.

The Sixteen’s new CD is, as usual, beautifully sung and superbly recorded. They maintain the purity and reverence that this music demands but never shy away from bringing a particularly expressive voice or moment to the fore. They clearly enjoy the richness of this music, while Harry Christophers shapes and moulds both the individual phrases and the larger structures in a hugely impressive way.

There is much to enjoy here, and if you’re keen to explore Victoria’s music beyond this disc you’ll be pleased to hear that The Sixteen have also re-packaged their previous four Victoria discs into a single bargain priced box. We’re currently offering 20% off everything on the Sixteen’s label ‘Coro’ so there has never been a better time to explore both Victoria and some of the other wonderful recordings that this top-notch ensemble have made.

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Hail, Mother of the Redeemer

The Sixteen, Harry Christophers

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The Victoria Collection

The Sixteen, Harry Christophers

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Chris O'Reilly - chris@prestoclassical.co.uk

New Releases

28th February 2011

This is just the pick of the recent releases. The New Releases and Future Releases pages are always available for browsing all the new and forthcoming releases.

Ravel: The complete solo piano music

Steven Osborne (piano)

New releases of Steven Osborne’s best-selling discs have become some of the most eagerly-awaited events in the pianophile diary. This most delicate and subtle of musicians also displays a pyrotechnical deployment of digital acrobatics, mesmerising colour control and breathtaking articulation. All these qualities are visible in this two-disc set of some of the most important piano music of the early twentieth century. Ravel’s works have been central, too, to Steven Osborne’s performing repertoire throughout his career, making this set a perfect marriage of composer and performer.

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Brahms: Violin Concerto & String Sextet No. 2

Isabelle Faust (violin), Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Daniel Harding

“Her performance is wonderfully proportioned...never grandiose nor unnecessarily rhetorical, with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra supplying perfectly scaled support...those who prefer [their Brahms] expressively searching and introspective should love it, with the bonus of the delicate and deft account of the Sextet.” The Guardian

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Bach, J S: St John Passion, BWV245

Mark Padmore (Evangelist), Hanno Müller-Brachmann (Jesus), Peter Harvey (Pilatus), Joanna Lunn & Katharine Fuge (sopranos), Bernarda Fink (alto), The Monteverdi Choir & The English Baroque Soloists, Sir John Eliot Gardiner

Recorded in Königslutter in 2003, this album features internationally acclaimed soloists including Mark Padmore, Hanno Müller-Brachmann, Peter Harvey and Bernarda Fink.

Considered to be an expressive and intimate oratorio, the St John Passion was conceived by Bach both as a work of art and an act of worship in itself.

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Walton: Belshazzar’s Feast & Symphony No. 1

Peter Coleman-Wright (baritone), London Symphony Chorus, London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Colin Davis

In 2006 LSO Live released Walton’s First Symphony conducted by Sir Colin Davis. The disc received widespread acclaim – it was an Editor’s Choice in Gramophone and voted CD of the Year by listeners of BBC Radio 3 CD Review. It is now being re-released, coupled with a new recording of Walton’s spectacular oratorio Belshazzar’s Feast.

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Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique

Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin

In a very short time, Yannick Nézet-Séguin has become one of the most sought-after young conductors in the world, popular with orchestras and audiences alike. Recently named as Music Director Designate of the Philadelphia Orchestra, he succeeded Valery Gergiev as Music Director of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra in 2008. He is also Chief Guest Conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

For the first of four projected discs with BIS, Nézet-Séguin and his Rotterdam players have recorded Hector Berlioz’ masterpiece Symphonie fantastique, in a full-blooded and luxurious performance which at the same time respects the work’s classical proportions.

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Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 3

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Vasily Petrenko

This is the fifth disc in Vasily Petrenko’s fantastic Shostakovich cycle, which is continuing to take critics by storm.

Shostakovich’s First Symphony propelled the teenage composer to international prominence, its emotional range and innovative orchestration marking him as a daring and precocious talent on the scene.

The Third Symphony, ‘The First of May’, originally intended as part of a symphonic cycle inspired by dates on the revolutionary calendar, has been described as ‘a reckless and at times chaotic accommodation between modernist intent and revolutionary fervour’.

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Vincent d’Indy - Orchestral Works Volume 4

Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Rumon Gamba

D’Indy was a contemporary of Debussy and Ravel, and a pupil of César Franck. Fauré described him as ‘The Samson of Music’ for his multifarious and generous-minded work as a composer, conductor, educator, and propagandist who greatly strengthened French musical culture. With a style essentially eclectic and strongly influenced above all by Beethoven and Wagner, d’Indy particularly excelled in orchestral composition.

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Verdi: Four Sacred Pieces & Hymn of the Nations

Barbara Frittoli (soprano) & Francesco Meli (tenor), Orchestra and Chorus of Teatro Regio, Torino, Gianandrea Noseda

This is a recording of rarely heard choral works by Verdi, performed by all-Italian forces – the Orchestra and Chorus of Teatre Regio in Turin, with the soloists Barbara Frittoli and Francesco Meli, under the conductor Gianandrea Noseda, an exclusive Chandos artist – for totally idiomatic results.

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Radio 3

BBC Radio 3 CD Review

Saturday 26th February 2011

Building a Library - Recent Bruckner Recordings

Bruckner: Symphony No. 5 in B flat major

Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Herbert Blomstedt

Bruckner: Symphony No. 5 in B flat major

Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Bernard Haitink

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Bruckner: Symphony No. 2 in C Minor

(1877 version, ed. Leopold Nowak)

Swedish Chamber Orchestra, Thomas Dausgaard

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Bruckner: Symphony No. 8 in C minor

(Live recording, Munich, Herkulessaal 12th May 1977)

Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Rafael Kubelík

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Bruckner: Symphony No. 8 in C minor

Berliner Philharmoniker, Klaus Tennstedt

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Bruckner: Symphony No. 8 in C minor

(in its "third version" in the Robert Haas edition of 1939)

Staatskapelle Dresden, Christian Thielemann

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Bruckner: Symphony No. 8 in C minor

(1890 version)

Orchestra de la Suisse Romande, Marek Janowski

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Disc of the Week

Mozart: Keyboard Music Volume 2

Kristian Bezuidenhout (fortepiano)

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04-Jun-2012 -Bach's St Matthew Passion
28-May-2012 -Bruckner Symphonies from Rattle and Barenboim
21-May-2012 -Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau
14-May-2012 -Handel in England
07-May-2012 -Britten: War Requiem
30-Apr-2012 -Hamilton Harty’s Chamber Music
23-Apr-2012 -Kathleen Ferrier
16-Apr-2012 -Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique from Ticciati and the SCO
09-Apr-2012 -New and forthcoming Opera DVDs
02-Apr-2012 -Claude Debussy
26-Mar-2012 -Wagner - Klaus Florian Vogt and a new Parsifal
19-Mar-2012 -Haydn from Thomas Fey and the Heidelberger Sinfoniker
12-Mar-2012 -Jules Massenet - Werther & Don Quichotte
05-Mar-2012 -Brahms choral discs from Gardiner and Herreweghe
27-Feb-2012 -Vivaldi: Sacred vocal works and concertos
20-Feb-2012 -Aleksandra Kurzak and Renée Fleming
13-Feb-2012 -Schoenberg and Berg
06-Feb-2012 -Alison Balsom
30-Jan-2012 -Britten Violin Concerto
23-Jan-2012 -Beethoven Symphonies from Thielemann and Chailly
16-Jan-2012 -New Year’s Concert from Vienna
09-Jan-2012 -Mariusz Kwiecień
02-Jan-2012 -Fritz Kreisler
26-Dec-2011 -The year ahead and our latest new development
19-Dec-2011 -Two legendary performances
12-Dec-2011 -Maurizio Pollini plays Chopin
05-Dec-2011 -Christmas roundup
28-Nov-2011 -Havergal Brian’s Gothic Symphony
21-Nov-2011 -Duetti da Camera: Philippe Jaroussky & Max Emanuel Cencic
14-Nov-2011 -Bruckner and Mahler from Haitink and Pappano
07-Nov-2011 -Haydn from the Takács Quartet
31-Oct-2011 -Sublime Schubert from Paul Lewis
24-Oct-2011 -Franz Liszt
17-Oct-2011 -The Decca Sound
10-Oct-2011 -Pavel Haas Quartet the big winners at the Gramophone Awards
03-Oct-2011 -Berlioz's Grande Messe des Morts from Paul McCreesh
26-Sep-2011 -Handel – Agrippina & Germanico
19-Sep-2011 -Wagner’s Flying Dutchman starts PentaTone’s 10th anniversary celebrations
12-Sep-2011 -Schubert's Schwanengesang from Padmore and Lewis
05-Sep-2011 -Gergiev and the LSO conclude their Mahler cycle
29-Aug-2011 -BIS - Maxim Rysanov, Sibelius and a special offer
22-Aug-2011 -Sublime Ravel from Ibragimova and Tiberghien
15-Aug-2011 -Gustavo Dudamel
08-Aug-2011 -Brahms/Schoenberg from Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker
01-Aug-2011 -Lucia from the Mariinsky
25-Jul-2011 -Bayreuther Festspiele
18-Jul-2011 -Benjamin Grosvenor
11-Jul-2011 -Rossini’s William Tell
04-Jul-2011 -Bach Motets from Herreweghe
27-Jun-2011 -Sublime Vivaldi from Nathalie Stutzmann
20-Jun-2011 -Beethoven’s Fidelio from Abbado and Kaufmann
13-Jun-2011 -Byrd’s Complete Consort Music
06-Jun-2011 -Vaughan Williams’s The Garden of Proserpine
30-May-2011 -Beethoven's Diabelli Variations from Paul Lewis
23-May-2011 -New DVDs from Glyndebourne
16-May-2011 -Martha Argerich
09-May-2011 -Handel's Ariodante
02-May-2011 -Daniel Barenboim plays Chopin and conducts Tchaikovsky
25-Apr-2011 -Fliter and Ibragimova excel in Beethoven
18-Apr-2011 -Julia Lezhneva sings Rossini
11-Apr-2011 -Lully’s Bellérophon
04-Apr-2011 -Mining the archives
28-Mar-2011 -Rachmaninov's Second Symphony
21-Mar-2011 -Suk's Asrael Symphony
14-Mar-2011 -Pergolesi's Stabat Mater
07-Mar-2011 -Striggio: Mass in 40 Parts
28-Feb-2011 -Tomás Luis de Victoria
21-Feb-2011 -Lisa Batiashvili - Echoes of Time
14-Feb-2011 -Kate Royal: A Lesson in Love
07-Feb-2011 -Simon Rattle's new Mahler 2
31-Jan-2011 -Percy Grainger
24-Jan-2011 -Arne: Artaxerxes
17-Jan-2011 -Handel and Strauss from Dessay and Damrau
10-Jan-2011 -Nielsen Symphonies from Colin Davis and the LSO
03-Jan-2011 -The Genius of Mozart
27-Dec-2010 -The year ahead
20-Dec-2010 -Sheet Music now online, and other recent developments
13-Dec-2010 -Robert Schumann
06-Dec-2010 -Vivaldi Operas - Ottone in Villa and Ercole
29-Nov-2010 -Christmas Releases
22-Nov-2010 -Bach Cantatas - the Gardiner pilgrimage
15-Nov-2010 -Henryk Mikolaj Górecki
08-Nov-2010 -Schubert: Piano Duets
01-Nov-2010 -Verdi's Otello from the LSO and Colin Davis
25-Oct-2010 -The Three Baroque Tenors
18-Oct-2010 -Dame Joan Sutherland
11-Oct-2010 -Bach's Violin Concertos from Rachel Podger and Brecon Baroque
04-Oct-2010 -Gramophone Awards announced last Friday
27-Sep-2010 -Jonas Kaufmann: Verismo Arias
20-Sep-2010 -Wagner's Parsifal from the Mariinsky and Gergiev
13-Sep-2010 -Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte from René Jacobs
06-Sep-2010 -Puccini's forgotten masterpiece - La Rondine
30-Aug-2010 -Santiago a cappella
23-Aug-2010 -Elīna Garanča goes Spanish
16-Aug-2010 -Rued Langgaard - Music of the Spheres
09-Aug-2010 -Gramophone Awards - The Finalists
02-Aug-2010 -50 Years of the Grosses Festspielhaus Salzburg
26-Jul-2010 -Gustav Mahler
19-Jul-2010 -Sir Charles Mackerras
12-Jul-2010 -Beethoven - Paul Lewis and the BBC Proms
05-Jul-2010 -A Russian Sibelius cycle
28-Jun-2010 -Ronald Brautigam's Beethoven
21-Jun-2010 -Carlos Kleiber
14-Jun-2010 -Handel's Berenice
07-Jun-2010 -Channel Classics
31-May-2010 -Alfredo Casella
24-May-2010 -Shostakovich Preludes & Fugues from Melnikov
17-May-2010 -The multi-talented Julia Fischer
10-May-2010 -Nimbus
03-May-2010 -Leonard Bernstein's Omnibus Broadcasts
26-Apr-2010 -Frédéric Chopin
19-Apr-2010 -Wagner Lohengrin - BBC Awards
12-Apr-2010 -Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique
05-Apr-2010 -Rossini: Il barbiere di Siviglia and Joyce DiDonato
29-Mar-2010 -Romantic Piano Concertos
22-Mar-2010 -Robin Ticciati and Brahms' Choral Works
15-Mar-2010 -Mozart Symphonies from Mackerras - Volume 2
08-Mar-2010 -Bernard Coutaz and Harmonia Mundi
01-Mar-2010 -Thomas Adès
22-Feb-2010 -Strauss: Alpine Symphony
15-Feb-2010 -Handel: Giulio Cesare and the Brockes Passion
08-Feb-2010 -Debussy and the Prix de Rome
01-Feb-2010 -Testament
25-Jan-2010 -BBC Music Magazine Awards Shortlist
18-Jan-2010 -Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet
11-Jan-2010 -Bach for Violin and Voice
04-Jan-2010 -A Ring cycle for the 21st Century
28-Dec-2009 -Anniversaries - 2009 and 2010
21-Dec-2009 -Richard Farrell
14-Dec-2009 -Thomas Tallis's Secret Garden
07-Dec-2009 -El Sistema
30-Nov-2009 -Christmas Releases
23-Nov-2009 -Kirsten Flagstad
16-Nov-2009 -Nikolaus Harnoncourt
09-Nov-2009 -Two important Elgar rarities
02-Nov-2009 -Felix Mendelssohn
26-Oct-2009 -Cecilia Bartoli and the world of Castratos
19-Oct-2009 -Winterreise from Padmore and Lewis
12-Oct-2009 -Tchaikovsky's Moscow Cantata
05-Oct-2009 -The Quatuor Ebène and the Gramophone Awards
28-Sep-2009 -Unknown Britten
21-Sep-2009 -Australian Eloquence
14-Sep-2009 -Julia Fischer plays Schubert
07-Sep-2009 -Bach Cantata bargain of the year
31-Aug-2009 -Rattle conducts Brahms
24-Aug-2009 -Bruckner from the Concertgebouw
17-Aug-2009 -Gramophone Awards 2009 - Finalists
10-Aug-2009 -Bartok's Bluebeard's Castle
03-Aug-2009 -The Vivaldi Edition
27-Jul-2009 -Diaghilev and The Ballets Russes
20-Jul-2009 -Sir Edward Downes
13-Jul-2009 -Brilliant Classics
06-Jul-2009 -Tomás Luis de Victoria
29-Jun-2009 -Britten's homage to Purcell
22-Jun-2009 -The Three Tenors
15-Jun-2009 -Penguin Rosettes and Building a Library
08-Jun-2009 -Masterclasses
01-Jun-2009 -Gergiev at the Mariinsky
25-May-2009 -Two recent re-discoveries light up Martinu year
18-May-2009 -Idomeneo from René Jacobs
11-May-2009 -A&R and Kate Royal's Midsummer Night
04-May-2009 -Chandos Records - 30 years young
27-Apr-2009 -Rachmaninov Preludes
20-Apr-2009 -20 Years of NMC
13-Apr-2009 -BBC Music Magazine Awards
06-Apr-2009 -Shostakovich 11 from the RLPO
30-Mar-2009 -BIS and the Sibelius Edition
23-Mar-2009 -Haydn - 'The Father of the Symphony'
16-Mar-2009 -George Frederic Handel
09-Mar-2009 -Bach's Brandenburg Concertos
02-Mar-2009 -Angela Gheorghiu in Puccini's Madama Butterfly
23-Feb-2009 -The world's most celebrated violins
16-Feb-2009 -Copyright to be extended
09-Feb-2009 -A feast of Early Music
02-Feb-2009 -Sarah Connolly gets Purcell year off to a flier
26-Jan-2009 -Monteverdi as you've never heard it before!
19-Jan-2009 -Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin put Platti firmly on the map
12-Jan-2009 -Hamelin proves his real class with Chopin
05-Jan-2009 -Lindsays lead the bargains
29-Dec-2008 -Jerusalem - in search of peace
22-Dec-2008 -Looking ahead - Handel, Haydn and more
15-Dec-2008 -2008 - A great year for DVDs
08-Dec-2008 -Top new Christmas recommendations
01-Dec-2008 -Richard Hickox
24-Nov-2008 -The World's Great Orchestras, and Euros and US Dollars now accepted
17-Nov-2008 -Lost manuscripts continue to be found
10-Nov-2008 -Haydn's String Quartets
03-Nov-2008 -Tchaikovsky's Manfred Symphony
27-Oct-2008 -Contemporary Music
20-Oct-2008 -Sir Peter Moores
13-Oct-2008 -Vivaldi in a new light
06-Oct-2008 -Americans in Pyongyang
29-Sep-2008 -Paul Lewis and the Gramophone Awards 2008
22-Sep-2008 -Songs her mother taught her
15-Sep-2008 -Vernon Handley
08-Sep-2008 -Zig Zag and the Atrium Quartet
01-Sep-2008 -Gramophone Awards nominations
25-Aug-2008 -Beautiful Messiah and Exquisite Morales
18-Aug-2008 -Great Pianists of the Past
11-Aug-2008 -Classical Television Broadcasts on the Internet
04-Aug-2008 -Chloë Hanslip and the unfamiliar
28-Jul-2008 -Leopold Godowsky and the virtuoso pianist
21-Jul-2008 -Linn Records
14-Jul-2008 -Vaughan Williams
07-Jul-2008 -Olivier Messiaen
30-Jun-2008 -Reginald Goodall's revelatory 'Mastersingers'
23-Jun-2008 -The French Baroque - 200 Years of Versailles
16-Jun-2008 -Bach Fugues from Onyx and the Emersons
09-Jun-2008 -New DVD page and Special Offer
02-Jun-2008 -Time to re-evaluate Miaskovsky
26-May-2008 -Superb Scholl sings Dowland and his circle
19-May-2008 -Fiesta! - Dudamel and the Venezuelans
12-May-2008 -The Guarneri Piano Trio and the label Praga
05-May-2008 -A La Bohème for all
28-Apr-2008 -Beethoven and Period Instruments
21-Apr-2008 -The Jerusalem Quartet
14-Apr-2008 -Nigel Kennedy
07-Apr-2008 -Paul Lewis's Beethoven
31-Mar-2008 -Ingrid Fliter
24-Mar-2008 -Mel Bonis
17-Mar-2008 -Stunning new Haydn Creation from Paul McCreesh
10-Mar-2008 -Hilary Hahn plays Schoenberg and Sibelius
03-Mar-2008 -Rattle and Gergiev on Mahler
25-Feb-2008 -Handel Organ Concertos
18-Feb-2008 -Late Mozart Symphonies
11-Feb-2008 -Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Project
04-Feb-2008 -Arvo Pärt's Spiegel im Spiegel
28-Jan-2008 -Undeservedly neglected music - John Marsh and Juan de Araujo
21-Jan-2008 -New Bach Cantatas page
14-Jan-2008 -Composers' Own Recordings
07-Jan-2008 -Francis Xavier and Jordi Savall
31-Dec-2007 -50 Years of Harmonia Mundi
24-Dec-2007 -Last thoughts on 2007, first on 2008
17-Dec-2007 -Discs of the Year
10-Dec-2007 -Stockhausen
03-Dec-2007 -25 Years of the Compact Disc
26-Nov-2007 -Pacini and the importance of first performances
19-Nov-2007 -Christmas music worth hearing
12-Nov-2007 -The forgotten Maria
05-Nov-2007 -Why composers marked repeats
29-Oct-2007 -Bach B minor Mass from Suzuki
22-Oct-2007 -New Mahler 8 from Pierre Boulez
15-Oct-2007 -Lucerne Festival Orchestra
08-Oct-2007 -Julia Fischer and the Gramophone Awards
01-Oct-2007 -Mozart - Don Giovanni from René Jacobs
24-Sep-2007 -Natalie Clein and the Elgar Cello Concerto
17-Sep-2007 -Joshua Bell
10-Sep-2007 -Luciano Pavarotti
03-Sep-2007 -Kate Royal
27-Aug-2007 -Gramophone Awards - finalists revealed
20-Aug-2007 -Exciting new baroque rediscovery - Conti's David
13-Aug-2007 -Venezuelan Youth Orchestra the envy of the world
06-Aug-2007 -Music's Best-kept Secrets
30-Jul-2007 -Haydn - the most underrated great composer
23-Jul-2007 -Beethoven Piano Sonatas
16-Jul-2007 -BBC Proms 2007
09-Jul-2007 -Elin Manahan Thomas
02-Jul-2007 -Open minds and superb Bernarda Fink
25-Jun-2007 -Excited by another batch of re-issues?
18-Jun-2007 -Composer Works lists now published
11-Jun-2007 -Padmore and Bostridge sing Handel
04-Jun-2007 -Elgar's Enigma Variations
28-May-2007 -Still suffering some seventy years on?
21-May-2007 -Buying Opera on CD or DVD
14-May-2007 -Debussy's new champion
07-May-2007 -Schütz's Legacy
30-Apr-2007 -Mstislav Rostropovich
23-Apr-2007 -Missed Opportunities
16-Apr-2007 -BBC Music Magazine Awards
09-Apr-2007 -The way we listen
02-Apr-2007 -Too much Mozart?
26-Mar-2007 -Harpsichord or Piano?
19-Mar-2007 -Strauss's Four Last Songs
12-Mar-2007 -The importance of government support
05-Mar-2007 -Do today's musicians all sound the same?

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