Author Archives: Kenneth Woods

CD Review: Birmingham Post on Psalm- Contemporary British Trumpet Concertos

SIMON Desbruslais demonstrates his virtuosity in four fresh, vigorous and varied works by three British composers. In Deborah Pritchard’s Skyspace he plays the piccolo trumpet, an instrument familiar through baroque works – famously in Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos – but seldom heard in contemporary music. It suits the soaring lines of Pritchard’s work, the seven sections […]

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Explore the Score- Hans Gál: Idyllikon

Hear it live for the first time in 25 years on the 31st of January here.  Idyllikon Four movements for small orchestra, Opus 79, (1958) Serenade, Badinerie, Sarabande, Villanelle Duration: 29” First performance: Vienna Radio, Aug. 1960 (Orchester des österreichischen Rundfunks/Etti) Hans Gál was born in the small village of Brunn am Gebirge, just outside Vienna. He studied […]

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The official, definitive guide to the greatest D minor Symphonies of all time

It’s been hailed as “the saddest of all keys.” Andras Schiff called it “Beethoven’s key of existential struggle.” It was Brahms’s Tragic key- the world of his brooding First Piano Concerto and his Tragic Overture- both quite symphonic works. Yet Brahms never wrote a D minor symphony- maybe the thought of writing a whole symphony […]

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Haydn’s Music- Bathed in Fire and Blood

(Disclaimer- I’ve broken my no-swearing rule in this post. Apologies for any offense. I think Haydn’s music merits a bit of good profanity) Long-time Vftp readers will know that I’m quite the Haydn aficionado. Last Saturday, I broke a long, heart-wrenching dry spell since my last performance of a Haydn symphony with a very satisfying […]

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Epomeo NEW

Explore the Score- Schnittke String Trio

The new recording on Avie Records of Schnittke’s String Trio by Ensemble Epomeo is released on October 27th in the UK, November 10th in the USA, but available direct from the Downbeat Store via the link above. The disc also includes string trios by Penderecki, Kurtág and Weinberg Alfred Schnittke’s String Trio, composed in 1985, […]

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Sawyers CD cover

CD Review- Gramophone Magazine on Sawyers Symphony no. 2, Cello Concerto and Concertante for Violin, Piano and Strings

“…uncommon skill in handling instrumental forces…performed here with thrilling conviction and formidable assurance by soloist Maja Bogdanovic… and the Orchestra of the Swan…Sawyers’s excitingly integrated music marries a generous lyrical impulse to a genuine thematic substance and marvellously invigorating contrapuntal flair… dashingly eloquent advocacy by the Steinberg Duo… Boasting admirable sound and judicious balance, this rewarding collection earns the strongest recommendation”

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Req Mike Brown

Thoughts on the Saint Louis Requiem Protest

Via the Saint Louis Dispatch “Michael Brown protesters interrupted the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra’s concert on Saturday night, causing a brief delay in the performance at Powell Symphony Hall. The orchestra and chorus were preparing to perform Johannes Brahms’ Requiem just after intermission when two audience members in the middle aisle on the main floor […]

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