Author Archives: Kenneth Woods

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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“Hey buddy! Does that there sarrusophone have a volume knob on it?” or “Can wind players do dynamics?”

This Friday I’m conducting the winds of the English Symphony Orchestra in a program of wind ensemble masterpieces by Hans Gál, Mozart and Dvorák. You should come- it’s going to be fantastic! It’s no secret I’m a cellist, so I have grown up outside the wind ensemble tradition (although the wonderful Dvorák Wind Serenade actually […]

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Somm 0139 Cover

Explore the Score- Brahms, Serenade No. 1 in D major (reconstruction of original version for nonet)

[Click here to Explore the Score of the companion work on this CD, Schoenberg's Verklarte Nacht] The Brahms-Wagner rivalry was largely an affair of the press, whipped up by critics like the Brahmsian Eduard Hanslick and his pro-Wagnerian rivals. Brahms actually professed great admiration for Wagner’s music on many occasions. Nonetheless, there was a time […]

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Facebook ate my blog

We’ve been hearing for a few years about the death of blogs. Certainly, blogs are not dead. When I started Vftp I could find no other active conductor blogs- none.  A number of wise heads warned me that conductors should keep quiet- the more you go on record with your beliefs, the more people will […]

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Somm 0139 Cover

CD Review- Fiona Maddocks, The Observer on Brahms and Schoenberg with Epomeo and Swan

“Few, though, will have heard this nonet version of the Serenade, reconstructed by Alan Boustead in the 1980s, for strings, flute, two clarinets, bassoon and horn. In this live recording a slightly chubby ugly duckling in its orchestral format suddenly achieves lightness and clarity. Thanks to this aptly named Stratford-based ensemble, it has turned into […]

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Karajan Mozart

Karajan 25th Anniversary Perspectives part 2- Music of Mozart, Brahms, Strauss, Strauss and Wagner

In part 2 of my look back at the work of the still-controversial Herbert von Karajan, who died 25 years ago this week, I share an essay from Warner Classic’s new box set of music by Mozart, Schubert, Brahms, J and R Strauss and Wagner recorded for EMI. A fascinating collection- some surprises, one complete […]

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