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Andrew Clements

Handel: Siroe review a fine performance in places

Even the 20th-century Handel revival took a while to get round to this convoluted opera, conducted here by Laurence Cummings (Accent, three CDs) First performed in 1728, Siroe was part of the last season that Handel presented as director of music for the

Zemlinsky: String Quartets Nos 1 and 2 review first-class second instalment

The Escher Quartet's performance of one of Zemlinsky's greatest and most radical pieces is a highlight of this superb disc (Naxos) The first instalment of the Escher Quartet 's survey of Zemlinsky , including the Third and Fourth Quartets, appeared las

Stravinsky: The Firebird; Debussy: Prelude

What might at first sight seem to be an enterprising selection of piano transcriptions of some of the key orchestral works of the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century turns out to be rather unsatisfying.

Debussy, Respighi and Elgar: Violin Sonatas; Sibelius: Five Pieces review wonderfully subtle

Tamsin Waley-Cohen and Huw Watkins relish the expanse of Respighi, but seem more at home with Debussy and Elgar (Signum, two CDs) It's their year of composition, 1917, that links the four works for violin and piano in Tamsin Waley-Cohen and Huw Watkins

Bryars: The War in Heaven, Epilogue from G review a work of cumulative intensity

A welcome recording of Bryars' thoughtful and worthwhile piece (GB Records) Gavin Bryars' cantata , The War in Heaven, was commissioned by the BBC Symphony Orchestra, which gave the first performance in 1993. Since then it has only been heard once, at th

Benvenuto Cellini review grotesques and gusto solve Berlioz's problem piece

It was English National Opera that encouraged Terry Gilliam to try his hand at directing opera when he staged Berlioz's The Damnation of Faust at the Coliseum three years ago.

Kagel: Piano Trios review major additions to the chamber repertoire

More than 20 years separate Mauricio Kagel's first piano trio from his last, completed in 2007, the year before his death.

Schumann: Three Romances; Violin Sonata No 1; Holliger: Romancendres review

Holliger/Leuzinger/Kernjak (ECM) Oboist, conductor and composer Heinz Holliger has long been fascinated by Schumann's life and music. He first recorded Schumann's works for oboe and piano in the 1980s for Philips, with Alfred Brendel as his accompanist,

John Adams: City Noir; Saxophone Concerto review

St Louis Symphony captures the composer's infectious energy, but the music itself doesn't provide the depth that is promised.