With ‘Heritage’ Violinist Rudin Uncovers Denisov

Fedor Rudin’s album Heritage celebrates Russian repertoire and more specifically the music of composer Edison Denisov (1929-1996). Denisov is associated with modernist music in Soviet Russia of the 1960s. With mentors like Sergei Prokofiev and Dmitri Shostakovich and Debussy an early inspiration, I was keen to hear how these musical influences panned out. Rudin’s decision to premiere…

Stephen Hough Releases Chopin’s Nocturnes

As winter approaches why do classical music lovers tend to whip out the nocturnes? Chopin’s nocturnes conjure up cosy evenings by the fire, home concerts, cigars and cognac. When I was a child, record covers of Chopin, certainly propagated this image. This is probably why Chopin’s music seems accessible, approachable. A little too accessible at…

Album release: Georgia Train, ‘Needles & Pinches’

Here is a singer-songwriter confessional that blasts new energy into the genre. Violently resistant to any cliché, the entire album walks a tightrope between the accessible and avant-garde: unflinching, uncompromising and ultimately unforgettable. Georgia Train has already built up a rich back catalogue. I first heard her music as one half of duo Bitter Ruin…

Orchestra of the Swan Glides into Old Street

It’s Thursday night and the bars and pubs in Shoreditch are lit up and pumping out music into the cold November air.  I have come to an album launch of Stratford-Upon Avon-based Orchestra of the Swan. It’s an edgy venue at Kachett, under the railway arches in Old Street. Half of the musicians have travelled up to London…

Two of US: Lucas Meachem & Irina Meachem, ‘Shall We Gather’

This is a big, bold, beautiful beast of an album: a concept recital that uses song to grapple with belonging, community and how those noble aims align with what it means to be American. Let me say at the outset that this is a bravura performance by both singer and pianist. This may be a…

Igor Gryshyn Touches the Divine with his Scriabin Sonata

I discovered German-Ukranian pianist Igor Gryshyn, listening to soprano Olena Tokar sing on her album Charmes. Gryshyn accompanied her and the focus was clearly on the very talented Tokar. Gryshyn’s solo album Transitions has followed and reveals his own brilliance, and love for composers, Viktor Kosenko (1896-1938); his 11 Études to be precise, and the better-known Alexander Scriabin,…

Portal remains: Wyndow, ‘Wyndow’

Even when dealing with highly original, individual talents, sometimes musicians collaborate and produce something so complete that – not only do you wonder how they never found each other before – it also sounds like they’ve already been working together for years. This is the case with the self-titled debut album by Wyndow, whose core…

Darkness and Light: Nightlight – Cordelia Williams, piano

Darkness and light pervade Cordelia Williams’ latest release, Nightlight, which explores the many facets of nighttime – its turmoil, terror and tenderness, and the longing for and consolation of light – through a programme of brooding, atmospheric and ultimately consoling music.

Vital organ: Anna Lapwood, ‘Images’

No matter how long I’ve listened seriously to classical music – and with a mere decade of doing so behind me, I’m still one of the beginners – it’s always a good thing to be reminded that I’ll remain a learner for the duration, until my senses fail. There are always new sounds and new…