Podcast: Poetry for the departed

At its première in June 1969 Shostakovich described his Symphony No. 14, in effect a symphonic song cycle, as ‘a fight for the liberation of humanity… a great protest against death, a reminder to live one’s life honestly, decently, nobly…’ … Read More →


Up for review

Pity the poor reviewer who has to attend performances of contemporary music and make instant judgements on the works’ artistic merits. It’s not an easy task, which has occasionally been recognised by concert promoters who will immediately follow the première … Read More →


Podcast: A legend lives on

Although Reinhold Glière’s Symphony No. 3, subtitled Il’ya Muromets, is rarely performed or recorded, this new Naxos recording confirms that the work deserves the attention of a much wider audience. Performed by the Buffalo Philharmonic and conducted by JoAnn Falletta, … Read More →


Podcast: Curtain up!

If the purpose of an opera overture is to prepare the audience for the mood and emotions of the opera that follows, Rossini was a master. And yet, the overture was almost an after-thought to him. Rossini usually composed it … Read More →


A Case for Casella

Garibaldi’s Red Shirts are marching triumphantly en route to the successful Risorgimento, the establishment in 1861 of a united Italy – though the actual ramifications were complex and true uniting took longer. Lustily they sing, and the song on their … Read More →