Author Archives: Kenneth Woods

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 […]

Read More

Karajan Bartok

Karajan 25th Anniversary Special- Music of Ravel, Debussy and Bartok

Today marks the 25th anniversary of the death of Herbert von Karajan- one of the most influential, accomplished, controversial and contradictory musicians who ever lived. Not too long ago, I was asked to provide introductory essays for two volumes the Warner’s news collection of EMI-era Karajan recordings. It was a fascinating challenge, but one I […]

Read More

Somm 0139 Cover

CD Review- Classical CD Reviews on Verklarte Nacht and Brahms Serenade no. 1

The textures are appropriately bass heavy, and the two cellos dominate, but every line comes through with exceptional clarity. This gives the piece a new profile, with the complex but now clear counterpoint driving the music and leading the ear through the harmonic web. There is atmosphere here too, and much warmth in the ensemble’s sound, but that is never at the expense of the individual lines..

Read More

Somm 0139 Cover

Explore the Score- Arnold Schönberg, Verklärte 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 when the two men were perceived as embodying irreconcilable aesthetic approaches. In the end, […]

Read More

Pianist Howard Karp (photo by Katrin Talbot)

Howard Karp

    For the last few weeks, I’ve been meaning to write a blog post titled “If you buy only one recording this year, make it this one.” The recording in question is a new six-disc collection of live performances by the American pianist Howard Karp, released in May by Albany Records. Howard Karp died […]

Read More

AV2233

CD Review- Classical Ear/Andrew Achenbach on Bobby and Hans vol. 4

“…bringing to Schumann’s comparably sparkling and life-enhancing ‘Spring’ Symphony such boundless vitality, scrupulous fidelity to the printed score, delicious wit and (above all) entrancing freshness of new discovery. This stylish and consistently invigorating coupling represents both an exemplary rescue act and genuine tonic to boot. Investigate without delay!”

Read More

AV2233

Explore the Score- Robert Schumann, Symphony no. 1 in B-flat Major, “Spring

‘When his time to reach for the stars had arrived, Schumann’s personal language was fully formed, and just as the subtlety of his piano style had been an immense asset for the songwriter, so the expressiveness of his vocal melody was a bridge to the ‘voices of men and angels’ he imagined he heard in […]

Read More

Bobby and Hans vol 3

CD Review- Classical Source on Bobby and Hans vol. 3

“anyone… who generally welcomes song, dance, deepness of human feeling and clarity in their music will find much to entrance and enlighten here. It is certainly good to have a choice of recordings for Gál 2, to compare and contrast, but Woods’s version is the place to start…this thoughtfully considered account belongs in the Schumann 4 collection alongside Boult, Celibidache, Sawallisch (Dresden) and Szell”

Read More

Composer Robin Walker

Guest blog- Peter Davison on Unquiet Earth at the Two Rivers Festival

On Sunday 11 May, the 2014 Two Rivers Festival reaches a climax with its final concert, ‘UNQUIET EARTH’ ; a sequence of words and music inspired by Emily Brontë. Festival director Peter Davison describes this fascinating concert in the essay below: Sunday 11 May at 7.30pmThe Bushell Hall, Birkenhead SchoolTWO RIVERS ENSEMBLE Clare Hammond (piano) Jane Wilkinson (soprano)Suzanne Casey (violin) Kenneth Woods (cello)Peter […]

Read More

Jimi-Hendrix-001

Book of the week- Jimi Hendrix, Starting at Zero

It was the most unexpected gift I received this past Christmas- both the nature of the gift and the identity of the givers. Why the nature? Anyone who knows me well, knows how deeply immersed I was in the music of Jimi Hendrix throughout my teens and early twenties, but although I still love his […]

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Read More