CD reviews

CD review: The Complete Viola d’Amore Concertos

VIvaldi: The Complete Viola d'Amore Concertos CD cover

Rachel Barton Pine, Ars Antigua connect on Vivaldi’s viola d’amore concertos

The concert violinist, fascinated with this richly resonant instrument since her teen years, “sings” Vivaldi in a new voice

By David Abrams

When Rachel Barton Pine places her six-stringed 1774 Nicola Gagliano viola d’amore under her chin, 12 strings spring to life…

CD review: The Piano’s 12 Sides

Carter Pann’s ‘The Piano’s 12 Sides’ looks good from a dozen angles

The set of handsomely crafted character pieces proves a worthy showcase for Canadian pianist Joel Hastings

By David Abrams

The genesis of Carter Pann’s collection of character pieces in this album dates back to the summer of 2011, when Pann approached Joel Hastings — a pianist whom the composer has long admired — about writing a set of 12 solo works specifically tailored to the Canadian pianist’s talent set…

CD review: Excelsior (Fifth House Ensemble)

‘Excelsior’ contemporary music CD release pleases the ear, ignites the imagination

Chicago-based Fifth House Ensemble shines in its Cedille Records debut

By David Abrams

Searching for the occasional gem in a program dedicated to contemporary music is much like scratching your way through an instant lottery ticket. Initially, hopes for a winner are high, with some six or so chances to win. But it hardly comes as a shock when you discover you’ve come up empty.

CD Review: Hélène Grimaud Resonances

Hélène Grimaud’s new CD, Resonances: bold, full-toned, affirmative –– and unabashedly Romantic

The French pianist brushes historical accuracy aside and aims straight for the heart in her latest recording of sonatas by Mozart, Liszt and Berg, along with Bartók’s “Romanian Dances”

By Kevin Moore

The first time I saw…

CD Review: Uchida plays Schumann

Much-anticipated release of Mitsuko Uchida’s Schumann CD displays exceptional musical understanding and command

Another CD of Schumann piano music! Released late in 2010, the Schumann bicentennial year, this recording just became available here this month. It’s undoubtedly the fruit of pianist Mitsuko Uchida’s concert activities during the past year

By Kevin Moore…