Presto News - 13th November 2015

Seong-Jin Cho: Winner of the 2015 Chopin Piano Competition

Who? Despite several previous competition successes, it's fair to say that the young South Korean pianist who triumphed in this year's Fryderyk Chopin Competition in Warsaw has not hitherto achieved much in the way of fame. However, all that is surely about to change, for as of last month he joins a truly dizzying pantheon of Chopin pianists – past prize-winners include Vladimir Ashkenzy, Maurizio Pollini, Martha Argerich, Garrick Ohlsson and Daniil Trifonov. Victory in the competition is the gateway to great things, so I'm viewing Cho's début recording with DG as the first over of what promises to be a long and fruitful innings.

Seong-Jin Cho
Seong-Jin Cho

No prizes for guessing the repertoire – it's an all-Chopin disc, centred on the 24 Preludes and Piano Sonata No. 2, and all taken from his live performances in the competition's finals. The Preludes include some of Chopin's best-known and best-loved works – the D flat 'Raindrop', and the Preludes in C minor and A major which, perhaps more than any others, epitomise the phrase “small, but perfectly-formed”. As a pianist standing on the shoulders, and in the shadow, of giants, it's interesting to see what Cho makes of these oft-heard numbers in particular.

The tragic nobility of the C minor Prelude is always hard to gauge, in particular the pacing of the final opening-out. Pleasingly, Cho resists the temptation to ruin the mood of the piece by working himself up into unnecessarily apocalyptic hammer-blows at the end; although his crescendo and rallentando are substantial, they're kept within the context of the Prelude as a whole, and the inexorable, fatalistic forward momentum of the music is maintained right up to the final chord.

A similar evasion of self-indulgence characterises the A major Prelude; so often this can cross the line from simple beauty into nauseatingly mannered sweetness, but Cho stays on the right side of good taste. His tempo is significantly faster than I was expecting, but once I'd got over my surprise I realised it works perfectly. Rather than leaning into every downbeat to show off narcissistic levels of rubato, he simply gets on with it – and in doing so puts (or, perhaps, puts back) into the music the stately lightness of a minuet. This does mean that it's all over in a mere 41 seconds, but I think that's definitely a price worth paying; even with the arch-Romantic Chopin, less can sometimes be more.

That's not to say that Cho can't bring out his own truly Romantic side; the delightful D flat Prelude (subtitled the 'Raindrop' in reference to the constantly drip-dropping A flat/G sharp ostinato around which, in one form or another, it rotates) shows it in abundance. Rubato and dynamic sensitivity characterise the opening, and the stern midsection rises and falls with suitably heroic climaxes. The G major Prelude – taken at breathtaking speed and showcasing Cho's immaculately light, rapid fingerwork – is curiously devoid of pedal, which can leave the flowing semiquavers a little less liquid than usual, but allows a clarity to be retained that might otherwise be lost in a rippling wash of sound.

As Cho turns his attention to the Sonata, in a strange way I found it noticeable how little the mood seems to change. There's no sense of him rolling up his sleeves for the hard-work part of the programme – Preludes and Sonata seem to be approached on an equal footing, and Cho is clearly no more daunted by the latter's scale than he was by the former's virtuosity. At no point in this heavy-duty work does he sound anything less than totally in control. The famous Funeral March in the third movement is remorseless in its pathos, and the brief fourth movement barely alleviates the mood of misery Cho has so successfully conjured up – so it was a pleasant surprise to find the A flat Polonaise as an encore to put a smile back on my face!

Seong-Jin Cho has certainly made his mark – this is as fine a début as any young artist could wish for. If there's any justice, we should be hearing a lot more from him in the coming years!

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Chopin Competition Winner 2015: Seong-Jin Cho

Seong-Jin Cho (piano)

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Presto Interview – Nelson Goerner on Chopin

Nelson Goerner is widely acknowledged as one of today's pre-eminent Chopin interpreters, and it's on this that his fame has mostly been built - though his repertoire certainly extends well beyond this main specialism.

His next two albums - Beethoven's formidable Hammerklavier and Chopin's Preludes - are testament to this artistic breadth, but he was also invited to participate in the jury at this year's Chopin Competition - finding the next generation of great artists.

David spoke to Nelson about these two sides of his relationship with the piano.

Read the full article...

Gramophone Editor's Choices – November 2015

Chris introduces the month's highlights from Gramophone - Igor Levit's triple-bill of variations, Yuja Wang, The Sixteen and Ivan Moravec all feature...

Browse through all this month's choices...

Presto CD – over 70 more DG titles

DG are back in the spotlight this week, with over 70 more albums from their archives brought back as Presto CDs.

The repertoire ranges from Gregorian chant to 20th-century works from Ligeti, Penderecki and David del Tredici, and the ever-impressive roster of artists features Anne-Sophie Mutter, Ton Koopman, Emil Gilels, Andrei Gavrilov and more.

We’ve listed the latest batch here; you can also view all our Presto CDs here.

David Smith - david.smith@prestoclassical.co.uk

New Releases

13th November 2015

Scriabin: Symphonies Nos. 3 & 4

London Symphony Orchestra, Valery Gergiev

Valery Gergiev conducts revelatory performances of Scriabin’s Symphony No. 3 (The Divine Poem) and Symphony No. 4 (The Poem of Ecstasy). This marks the first in a new cycle of Scriabin symphonies, released during Gergiev's final tenure as Principal Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra.

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Dorothea Roschmann sings Mozart Arias

Dorothea Roschmann (soprano), Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Daniel Harding

Dorothea Röschmann releases her first solo Mozart album, including arias from Don Giovanni, Idomeneo, La clemenza di Tito, and Le Nozze Di Figaro. The album is recorded with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by their music director Daniel Harding.

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Neeme Järvi conducts Offenbach

Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Neeme Järvi (conductor)

Neeme Järvi and the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande explore Offenbach’s effervescent music in this third album of their survey of French orchestral works of the nineteenth century. The vividly tuneful overtures on this recording reveal the captivating imagination of this prolific composer, as well as the flourishing theatrical life of Paris in his day.

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Bach - Secular Cantatas Volume V

Joanne Lunn (soprano) Robin Blaze (counter-tenor), Makoto Sakurada (tenor), Dominik Wörner (bass), Bach Collegium Japan, Masaaki Suzuki

This disc of secular cantatas contains two cantatas first performed in 1733. Lasst uns sorgen, lasst uns wachen was composed for the eleventh birthday of Prince-Elector Friedrich August II's oldest son, and Tönet, ihr Pauken! Erschallet, Trompeten! celebrated the birthday two months later of his wife, Maria Josepha.

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Handel: Partenope, HWV 27

Philippe Jaroussky (Arsace), Karina Gauvin (Partenope), John Mark Ainsley (Emilio), Teresa Iervolino (Rosmira), Emöke Barath (Armindo), Luca Tittoto (Ormonte), Il Pomo d'Oro, Riccardo Minasi

Handel’s sparkling opera offers plenty of comedy as Queen Partenope (Karina Gauvin) juggles an array of suitors. Philippe Jaroussky takes the role of Arsace, Prince of Corinth. Mezzo Teresa Iervolino sings Rosmira (Arsace's former lover disguised as a man) while soprano Emőke Baráth is Prince Armindo, who is in love with Partenope.

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Adolf Busch & The Busch Quartet: The Complete Warner Recordings (16 CDs)

Adolf Busch (violin), The Busch Quartet

Celebrated for his unique style of phrasing and his belief that musical expression should be prized above technical showmanship, German violinist Adolf Busch was one of the first leading artists of his day to embrace the recording process, following the birth of the 78rpm disc. A rich and significant catalogue ensued, from solo and duo works to some of chamber music’s most famous masterpieces.

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Australian Eloquence - New Releases

The latest batch of twelve discs from Australian Eloquence includes performances by Peter Katin of piano concertos by Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov, Pierre Monteux conducting music by Ravel and Schubert, a recording of Iolanthe from D'Oyly Carte, a recital by Renata Tebaldi, and music from the time of Henry VIII.

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Rossini: La donna del lago (DVD)

Joyce DiDonato (Elena), Juan Diego Florez (Giacomo V), John Osborn (Rodrigo), Daniela Barcellona (Malcolm), Oren Gradus (Douglas), The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus, Michele Mariotti

The Metropolitan Opera presents this live performance with Joyce DiDonato as Elena, the Lady of the Lake, who loves the heroic Malcolm (Daniela Barcellona). However, King James V (Juan Diego Flórez) arrives in the Highlands and sets his sights on Elena while her father Douglas (Oren Gradus), who is rebelling against the King's rule, promises his daughter to clan chief Rodrigo (John Osborn).

Blu-ray version also available...

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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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