Presto News - 1st July 2016

Piano and Vocal music by Erik Satie

Amongst the musical anniversaries in 2016 comes the 150th anniversary of the birth of French composer, Erik Satie. The majority of his output was for solo piano, and Japanese pianist Noriko Ogawa here presents the first volume in a series of his complete piano music, with this instalment including Satie's most famous works such as the Gnossiennes and the Gymnopédies.

Noriko Ogawa recording Satie on an Érard piano
Noriko Ogawa recording Satie on an Érard piano

Ogawa performs all of these pieces on an Érard piano built in 1890 (coincidentally the year in which Satie wrote the first three Gnossiennes). Partly because of the use of felt and leather on the hammers, and also because the piano strings are straight-strung in parallel (unlike modern grand pianos, which as a general rule are cross-strung over the soundboard), the tone is really quite striking (especially to modern ears accustomed to the sound of a Steinway concert grand, for instance), and if ever you needed a demonstration of how the choice of instrument can fundamentally alter the overall sound produced, this may be the perfect disc!

Satie's best-known piece is the first of the three Gymnopédies, and it's here in particular that the difference in sound struck me the most. I suppose we're used to hearing the piece as a kind of wistful, dreamy meditation, soft and languorous in tone. Well, have a listen to Ogawa's performance and see if you were as startled as I was: from the very first bass note I was intrigued by the somewhat harder-edged tone of the Érard instrument. This is even more pronounced once the melody begins, where Ogawa articulates each note directly and deliberately rather than a seamless wash of sound that one normally hears. Satie does actually write a crescendo and diminuendo over each phrase, which Ogawa takes care to observe, and which is made much more pronounced than usual by the tone of the piano. I have to say that once my ears had adjusted, I came to appreciate more and more the rich tone and clarity of the instrument and how much it suits this music.

This clarity is particularly impressive in pieces such as Chapitres tournés en tous sens and the Españaña movement from Croquis et agaceries d'un gros bonhomme en bois. Furthermore, in the movement entitled Sur un casque from Descriptions Automatiques, with its imitation at one point of the sound of drums, Ogawa brings out the rapid-fire repeated notes with great precision and definition, and the Sonatine bureaucratique is performed with an unfussy crispness that I very much enjoyed. Elsewhere, Ogawa highlights the wry humour in some of the pieces, such as the very end of the de Podophthalma movement from Embryons desséchés (which with its closing series of seemingly endless repeated chords pokes fun at a similar succession of chords that closes Beethoven's Fifth Symphony), or the quirky elegance of the brief cakewalk, Le Piccadilly.

With all my excitement traversing the delights of Satie's piano works, I barely have time to mention another recent disc exploring another side of his output. Soprano Barbara Hannigan and pianist Reinbert de Leeuw offer a selection of Satie's vocal music, with the centrepiece being Socrate, a setting of a French translation of Plato. Hannigan brings an extremely appealing tone to her performance throughout the disc, whether it be the ravishing beauty of Sylvie from Trois Mélodies, the hypnotic lethargy of Hymne pour le Salut Drapeau, or the heartbreaking purity and stillness in the final extended movement of Socrate describing the death of Socrates. A fine pair of discs, then, and an excellent way to delve into Satie’s music.

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Satie: Piano Music, Vol. 1

Noriko Ogawa (piano)

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Satie: Socrate

Barbara Hannigan (soprano), Reinbert de Leeuw (piano)

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In the Studio – Joyce DiDonato's In War and Peace

We hear that American mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato is preparing an album of eighteenth-century arias - currently set to include Dido's Lament and the dramatic 'Scenes of Horror' from Handel's Jephtha, all accompanied by the acclaimed Il Pomo d'Oro ensemble under Maxim Emelyanychev.

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Presto Interview – In Memoriam David Trendell

The album In Memoriam has been put together to serve as a musical headstone to the late David Trendell, choral conductor and musicologist at King's College London. It features choral tributes to various different aspects of his musicianship from his friends and colleagues.

David spoke to conductor Gareth Wilson about this unusual project, which draws together several musical strands to commemorate an influential and sorely-missed individual.

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Sheet Music – Special Offers on now

Over on our sheet music site, we now have three exciting special offers running - as well as our continuing offer on Schott, we are also offering 25% off Dover Scores and the Henle catalogue.

There's a huge range of music on offer from these three venerable publishers - Schott's broad catalogue from Wagner and Schumann to Ligeti and Penderecki, plus Dover's great selection of orchestral and chamber music scores, and Henle's respected range of Urtext editions.

Check out some of the great prices available...

James Longstaffe - james@prestoclassical.co.uk

New Releases

1st July 2016

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.

Nicola Benedetti plays Shostakovich & Glazunov Violin Concertos

Nicola Benedetti (violin), Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Kirill Karabits

Together with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Kirill Karabits, Scottish violinist Nicola Benedetti, brings Shostakovich's introspective Violin Concerto No. 1 to life in a performance packed full of energy and passion. It is programmed alongside Glazunov’s bold, colourful Violin Concerto, a late-Romantic work notable for its lyricism.

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The Romantic Piano Concerto Volume 68 - Moszkowski

Ludmil Angelov (piano), BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Vladimir Kiradjiev

The first recording of Moritz Moszkowski’s long-lost and eagerly awaited early Piano Concerto in B minor, Op. 3 makes for a particularly important addition to the Romantic Piano Concerto series. The coupling is another rarity (and recorded premiere): the Russian Rhapsody by Adolf Schulz-Evler.

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Respighi: Sinfonia drammatica

Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège, John Neschling

John Neschling continues his exploration of Respighi's orchestral works with the Sinfonia drammatica, a score of epic proportions with a dark-hued, intense, character. Closing the disc is the Belfagor Overture, a work from 1924 in which Respighi rescued material from an opera which had been less than warmly received at its première in 1923.

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Brahms: Works for Solo Piano Volume 6

Barry Douglas (piano)

This is the final volume in Barry Douglas’s survey of Brahms’s solo piano output. The music recorded here spans the entirety of the composer’s creative career, from March 1852 (the Study after Weber) to August 1893 (the Intermezzo, Op. 118 No. 6).

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Johann Sebastian Bach: The Complete Organ Works Volume 2

David Goode (organ of Trinity College Chapel, Cambridge)

David Goode continues his acclaimed series of the organ works of Johann Sebastian Bach with this second instalment, including the Trio Sonata No. 2 BWV526, the Fugue in B minor on a theme by Corelli BWV579, and a selection of Chorale Preludes.

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Machaut: A burning heart

The Orlando Consort

A third collection of songs on the theme of courtly love by Guillaume de Machaut. Throughout this series, the members of The Orlando Consort are proving the most committed of guides to the music and mores of fourteenth-century France.

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Pinchas Zukerman: Complete Recordings on DG and Philips (22 CDs)

Between 1974 and 1996 Pinchas Zukerman recorded 22 albums for Deutsche Gramophon and Philips (three for Decca), mainly as solo violinist but also as solo violist and as conductor, working closely with both the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. He teamed up with some of the greatest artists of his time, including Daniel Barenboim, Itzhak Perlman, Midori, Herman Baumann and Michala Petri.

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Beethoven: Fidelio (DVD)

Jonas Kaufmann (Florestan), Adrianne Pieczonka (Leonore), Tomasz Konieczny (Pizarro), Hans-Peter König (Rocco), Olga Bezsmertna (Marzelline), Norbert Ernst (Jaquino), Wiener Philharmoniker, Franz Welser-Möst

Claus Guth’s strikingly experimental new production drew fervent reactions at its premiere at the 2015 Salzburg Festival. On a spartan set, the opera is reworked with amplified noises and ambient sounds substituting for the traditional dialogue, and the inclusion of hand-signing doppelgängers who shadow some of the lead characters. Jonas Kaufmann and Adrianne Pieczonka masterfully execute Guth’s conceptual exploration of the mind’s ability to self-impose its own prison.

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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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