Category Archives: review

Annelies Vrieswijk honours French composers on CD Héroines

On her latest album, alto saxophonist Annelies Vrieswijk presents music by three French composers who have been very inspirational for her. The title is as simple as it is effective: Héroines. She graduated with honours twice: in 2006 Annelies Vrieswijk … Continue reading

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Gundega Šmite denounces the violence & futility of war

The CD As I go off to War by the Latvian Gundega Šmite was released last year, and has since gained an unintended extra charge by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. It is a publication of the Latvian Music Information … Continue reading

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Elisabeth Lutyens Piano Works: British modernism imbued with French perfume

In the autumn of 2021 the British pianist Martin Jones released the first volume of his recording of the complete piano works of Elisabeth Lutyens (1906-1983). She was a flamboyant personality who challenged the misogyny of the music world and … Continue reading

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Maya Fridman and North Netherlands Orchestra shine in cello concertos J.P. De Graaff

The adventurous label TRPTK produces special CDs all the time, and the Russian-Dutch cellist Maya Fridman is a regular guest. If I counted correctly, some eight CDs by – and with her – have already been released, some of them … Continue reading

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Ig Henneman – tireless improviser and composer

On 21 December Ig Henneman (1945) celebrates her 76th birthday. In September 2021 the adventurous vio(lin)ist, improviser, composer and feminist was appointed Knight of the Order of Orange-Nassau for her contribution to the rich Dutch musical life. She still tirelessly … Continue reading

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The Hague String Trio releases CD Celebrating Women!

On their CD Celebrating Women! The Hague String Trio present world premiere recordings by four female composers.  – At once also the only works in their repertoire by members of their own sex. Perhaps they want to hitch a ride … Continue reading

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Anájikon Konstantia Gourzi – music in which the sun always shines

In 1984, the German label ECM initiated its NEW SERIES to promote the ‘neo-spiritual’ music of such greats as Arvo Pärt & Giya Kancheli. Their style was considered kitschy at the time, but later they grew into highly lauded composers. … Continue reading

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CD ‘Fantasy’ Laura Kaminsky: scintillating music featuring star pianist Ursula Oppens

In the United States she is a celebrity, but in the Netherlands Laura Kaminsky (1956) is fairly unknown. Undeservedly so, because her music is both powerful and poetic and has an effervescent energy. The recently released CD Fantasy contains four … Continue reading

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Italian pianist strikes Ukrainian stillness at heart

An Italian label promoting piano music of a Ukrainian composer, it does not seem the most likely combination. Yet earlier this year, the CD Handsome Skies featuring piano works by Valentin Silvestrov (1937) arrived on my doorstep, sent from Rome … Continue reading

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Medea, Circe & Penelope get a voice of their own

Euripides immortalized Medea in his eponymous play, Homer recounted Circe and Penelope in his Odyssey. Throughout the centuries, their labelling of the threesome became ever more solidified. We regard Medea as a hysterical child murderer, Circe as a malicious witch … Continue reading

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