Kosuge’s Electrifying Chopin Wraps up ‘Elements’ Project’

For the past 5 years, pianist Yu Kosuge has created a series of four recordings inspired by the Greek concept of the four elements: Fire, Water, Wind and Earth. Last year her ‘Wind’ album really impressed me with its bird-inspired 18th century music by Daquin,Couperin and Rameau. With her Beethoven, the Tempest Sonata No 2, she really took off.  ‘Wind’…

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…

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,…

The Jukebox Album

The Jukebox Album – Tom Poster (piano) and Elean Urioste (violin) Few of us believed the 2020 lockdown would go on for more than a couple of weeks. In the midst of the initial announcement by government, many musicians – and others – watched in horror as their work dried up overnight. When it became…

Solem Quartet plays Thomas Ades

For their debut album the Solem Quartet embrace the theme of night and day. Heading up the line-up of contemporary composers on this concept album, we have Thomas Adès, with Solem Quartet’s new commission of Four Quarters. Commencing with Nightfall, febrile violins denote ancient stars in distant galaxies with groaning cello and viola signifying earth. In Morning Dew, plucked violin strings…

Olena Tokar – the soprano with soul

With her album Charmes, Ukranian soprano Olena Tokar shows her love of female song repertoire from the 19thand 20th century. Women composers have historically been thin on the ground, but the ones who received public attention, either in their time or more recently, were, and remain, utterly fascinating.  On the album, we have the feisty Alma Mahler, who threatened…

Heart songs: Elizabeth Llewellyn & Simon Lepper; Isata Kanneh-Mason

As soon as I read about ‘Heart and Hereafter’, Elizabeth Llewellyn’s debut recital album on Orchid Classics, I was excited and intrigued to hear it – for three main reasons. First, I had seen and heard her give a magnificent performance in the title role of Verdi’s ‘Luisa Miller’ for English National Opera back in…

Fullana’s Obsession with Bach

Most of us will have heard Johann Sebastian Bach’s exquisite Partita No. 3 in E major for Solo Violin. My knowledge of solo violin repertoire however stops there. I was therefore very keen to listen to violinist, Francisco Fullana’s new album, in which he explores Bach’s solo violin work and its musical legacy. Many legendary…