Tenor Dmytro Popov hitting high notes of his career

The Ukranian opera tenor Dmytro Popov might not be someone you will have heard of. Now entering his forth decade and therefore relatively young in opera years, he has spent much of his time outside the UK, singing lead roles in the world’s most prestigious opera houses. His stupendous vocal abilities were noticed very early…

Transatlantic Sounds from the Past and Present

Transatlantic is violinist Callum Smart’s tribute to British and American composers. Recorded during the first lockdown, his intention was to focus on the music he was “deeply in love with”, and this passion certainly translates to Edward Elgar’s lyrical Violin Sonata in E minor which Elgar wrote in 1918.  Smart plays the opening movement with great…

West Side Story Revisited and Revived

West Side Story Revisited and Revived I admit I never intended to review what I believed to be a straight orchestral revival of Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story, released by Orchid Classics on November 6th. I loved the musical and the film starring Natalie Wood, and having sung all the songs throughout my teenage years, I thought I…

Guitarist Jakob Bangsø and the soul of the troubadour

This month I was very keen to hear Danish guitarist, Jakob Bangsø, play three contemporary guitar concertos on a recording he made with Orchid Classics. First out on the album is Troubadours by composer John Corigliano, written in 1993. Corigliano has a long career behind him but was nervous about writing a guitar concerto. Concerns…

Blistering Performance by Stuart Jackson on ‘Flax and Fire’

  On Flax and Fire, operatic tenor Stuart Jackson offers a recording of love songs from the romantic repertoire of Robert Schumann, Franz Liszt and Hugo Wolf, with more contemporary works by William Denis Browne and Benjamin Britten. Britten opens the album with homages to Purcell but I really started to listen from track three. Um Mitternacht…

Navarra Quartet take on ‘Love and Death’

  On the 17th July the Navarra Quartet release ‘Love and Death’ on Orchid Classics, profound themes that power artistic creation. Joaquín Turina’s exotic and passionate La oración del torero (The bullfighter’s prayer) is an invigorating start to the album. Originally a work composed for four lutes in the 1920s, the arrangement for violin, viola…

“32 Masterpieces” – Jonathan Biss | Beethoven the Complete Piano Sonatas

For American pianist Jonathan Biss, Beethoven has been a near-constant companion for almost his entire life. He has been playing and writing about the 32 Piano Sonatas and has spent nearly ten years recording Beethoven’s sonatas. Now he is performing all the sonatas over a nine-month period, with concerts at London’s Wigmore Hall and in…