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  • Lebrecht Weekly - Ralph Vaughan Williams: Symphonies 2 and 8 (Onyx) (CD Review , Norman Lebrecht - La Scena Musicale Online)
    'The eighth symphony, written towards the end of VW’s long life, is his shortest and, in some ways, most experimental, playing as it does with tuned gongs, tubular bells and other exotica. It’s sunny, melodic and intellectually undemanding, intended for enjoyment, going nowhere in particular. And it has got some of the best brass playing you will hear all year.'


  • Lebrecht Weekly - Joseph Haydn: Violin concertos (Panclassics) (CD Review , Norman Lebrecht - La Scena Musicale Online)
    "There an infinity of happiness and invention in these pieces, at least as much as in the Mozart violin concertos. Why on earth don’t the Haydns get played more often? Or at all? Why are orchestra chiefs still afraid of Joseph Haydn?"


  • Lebrecht Weekly - Beethoven: Symphonies 4 and 5 (Sony) (CD Review , Norman Lebrecht - La Scena Musicale Online)
    "Harnoncourt and his Concentus had spent their lives together trying to achieve a literal understanding of great art, written by great masters. Now, months before his death, aged 86, he set out to get ‘a millimetre closer’ to Beethoven’s intentions."


  • Lebrecht Weekly - Mahler: 3rd symphony (DSO Live) (CD Review , Norman Lebrecht - La Scena Musicale Online)
    "Van Zweden takes a pace so safe that he struggles to introduce any kind of individuality to the shaping and phrasing of the 90-minute work....In the great roll of Maher 3 albums – Kubelik, Horenstein, Tennstedt, Abbado, Chailly – this does not pass my audition test. New York, I fear, could be in for a dull half-decade."


  • Lebrecht Weekly - Deutsche Grammophon: The Mono Era, 1948-57 (51-CD Box Set) (CD Review , Norman Lebrecht - La Scena Musicale Online)
    "A fraction of these recordings – Haas’s Ravel, Haskil’s Mozart Furtwängler’s Schubert G major – survived into the stereo era, but most are dazzling rediscoveries. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a more vivacious account of Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Night’s Dream than Fricsay’s and you’d need ears of cold steel to resist Fritz Lehmann’s account of the Brahms German Requiem. Impossible to imagine that technology pushed such elysian performances into a closet. Here they are, revived on 50 CDs, another medium that is now heading for obsolescence."





  • Lebrecht Weekly - NDR Symphony Orchestra/Krzysztof Urbanski (Alpha) (CD Review , Norman Lebrecht - La Scena Musicale Online)
    "The album pairings are well-chosen. Bookending Lutoslawski’s creative life, the Little Suite of 1949 is a tonally centred yet psychologically disturbing knit of folk tunes, while the fourth symphony is a climactic summary, written post-Communism for the luxurious sound of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and premiered by the composer himself in February 1993. ...The Hamburg-based NDR symphony orchestra play with high bloom and precision for Krysztof Urbanski, a fast-rising Polish conductor of a new generation."


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