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Unknown On ClassicsToday: New Beethoven Concerto Cycle from Mitsuko Uchida

 Mitsuko Uchida’s Second Beethoven Concerto CycleReview by: Jens F. LaursonArtistic Quality: ?Sound Quality: ?Mitsuko Uchida’s slightly-under-the-radar cycle of Beethoven Piano Concertos with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and the artless Kurt Sanderling (Philips/Decca) is one of my favorites for its almost self-effacing musicality and the orchestral precision that translates into

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Unknown On ClassicsToday: A Vikingur Retrospective, Musicianship over Hype

 Triad: Víkingur Ólafsson’s Greatest HitsReview by: Jens F. LaursonArtistic Quality: ?Sound Quality: ?Triad, the latest release by Icelandic pianist Vikingur (Heiðar) Ólafsson, isn’t a new album. It’s simply a fancy repackaging of his last three main releases for Deutsche Grammophon. This wouldn’t be particularly noteworthy if all three of those releases weren’t absolute corkers. There’s a disc

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Unknown On ClassicsToday: Wonderful Józef Elsner String Quartets

 String Quartet Discoveries: A Polish Haydn?Review by: Jens F. LaursonArtistic Quality: ?Sound Quality: ?This disc of the first-ever recordings of the String Quartets Op. 1 Nos.1-3 by Józef Elsner (1769-1854) is not the first disc of Elsner string quartets, but it marks the first time I took note of a name I’ll now never forget. They are such good works, much in the vein of Haydn, that I fell in

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Charles T. Downey For Your Consideration: Oscar-Nominated Short Films

For a film industry devastated by the coronavirus, the nominees in the major categories of the Academy Awards felt of lower quality as a group. Not really a surprise as most Americans have not seen a movie in an actual cinema for over a year, and the rules on qualifying for the awards were relaxed to allow entries from streaming platforms. At the top of the pile for this critic was The Father,

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Unknown Dip Your Ears: No. 263 (Klieser’s Baroque Horn Arias)


Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, “Beyond Words”
Felix Klieser / Chaarts Chamber Artists
(Berlin Classics)

Felix Klieser’s latest release, “Beyond Words”, is a trip up and down the most beloved and touching Bach-Haendel-Vivaldi arias and choruses, arranged for his instrument and chamber orchestra. “Vergnügte Ruh”, “Lascia ch’io pianga”, “Gloria”, “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring”, “Ombra mai fu”,

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Unknown Best Recordings of 2020

After a hiatus last year, it is time for a list of classical CDs that were outstanding this year. This is the ionarts list of the Best Classical Recordings of the Year:

Preamble
I’ve been doing some form of “Best of the Year” list since 2004. 2019 was the first time I slipped. Here’s my attempt at redemption. Granted, my overview of new releases is no longer quite what it was in the days I

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Unknown On ClassicsToday: Gimmick Instrument, Splendid Performances: “Mozart’s Violin”

Gimmick Instrument, Splendid Performances: Mozart’s Violin Concertos

Review by: Jens F. Laurson

Artistic Quality: ?

Sound Quality: ?

“Haydn and the Harp” is a delightful disc of music written for the harp based on works and themes of Haydn by the composer’s contemporaries, as well as compositions of Haydn’s where the harp can (or was always meant to) be an alternative to the piano.

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Unknown On ClassicsToday: Tartini Delights

Tartini Delights With Chouchane Siranossian

Review by: Jens F. Laurson

Artistic Quality: ?

Sound Quality: ?

Giuseppe Tartini has two things working against him: He’s not Vivaldi; and when acknowledged at all, he is often reduced to his Devil’s Trill Sonata (incidentally referenced in the slow movement of the D. 56 concerto, featured on this disc). The Naxos Music Library–to use a

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Unknown On ClassicsToday: Matthew Passion in Treble-Trouble

Treble-Trouble: A Forgettable Matthew Passion From King’s College

Review by: Jens F. Laurson

Artistic Quality: ?

Sound Quality: ?

From the pedestrian opening chorus with its questionably delightful mix of all-over-the-place choristers, this Matthew Passion is utterly non-competitive and of interest really only to the proud parents and relatives of the little performers. The pitch

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