András Schiff plays Schubert

The two discs inside this simple cardboard box come in blank white card covers. It took my simple intelligence a while to fathom out which disc was which, before I realised that there was one small centimetre long stripe on one side of one cover, and two on the other! [...]

Weber: Silvana

An opera in which the heroine doesn’t sing? Well, I suppose many of us will have experienced performances that inspired the feeling that it might be an improvement, but this is the only example I know of where the part was written in such a way. The first of Weber’s operas to achieve some success, Silvana has its roots in the composer’s first operatic venture, Das Waldmädchen of 1800. [...]

Jadassohn: Symphonies 1-4

Jadassohn's name came up frequently when I was looking into musical life in late 19th-century Dundee; as one of the Leipzig conservatory's professors, he taught many of the Scots students and wrote annual reports on their progress. [...]

Bach/Mendelssohn: Matthäus Passion (1841)

Though entirely recognizable as the Matthew Passion, and giving us an insight into the important role Mendelssohn played in the transmission of the performing tradition, there are some surprises in this live performance, captured on CD. [...]

Schubert’s Winter Journey: Anatomy of an Obsession

The shocking impact on its first hearers of Schubert's Winterreise is well documented; his friends were 'dumb­founded' by the overwhel­ming power of the grief expressed in the 24 settings of Wilhelm Muller's poems. It is hugely popular today, but you have to prepare yourself for a performance [...]

Mozart · Mendelssohn

Chiaroscuro is a period instrument quartet that is not frightened of its pianissimos. So many ensembles pay little attention to the full range of dynamics that are available on their instruments. [...]

Hoffmann: Symphony, Overtures Witt Sinfonia in A

Sandwiched between two lively symphonies, each equally deserving of a place in the repertoire of most orchestras looking to explore the music of Beethoven's contem-poraries, are the overtures to Hoffmann's Undine and Aurora, considered by many as the first Romantic operas in German. [...]
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