Classical Reviews

Telemann's Viola da Gamba Fantasies were thought lost until they were rediscovered in 2015. Michał Bryła is the winner of numerous prizes in violin, viola, and chamber music competitions, and brings that expertise to this special recording project:

Alastair Penman is also an exceptional UK-based saxophonist and his album "Soar" is performed with pianist Jonathan Pease and recorded at London's Guildhall School of Music and Drama:

  • Soar - a dazzling display from Alastair Penman's Saxophone

Gillian Blair is an exceptional saxophonist based in the UK and "Infinite Stories" is her first solo album, recorded at the RNCM (Royal Northern College of Music) in Manchester:

Though also listed in our film soundtrack reviews section, this album from Alexandre Desplat features premiere recordings of new concert works namely "Airlines" and the 3-movement "Pelléas et Mélisande":

  • Airlines - music for flute and orchestra with flautist Emmanuel Pahud

The RSNO (Royal Scottish National Orchestra) play two works by John Adams, under conductor Peter Oundjian. The recording was made in SACD format but has superb clarity when played in normal stereo equipment:

The Polaris Duo have been performing since 2011 but "Polaris" is their first album released in 2018. The Duo play the unusual instrumental combination of saxophone and harp:

  • Polaris Duo: Illuminate - album of classical music by diverse composers, including CPE Bach, Camille Saint-Saens, and contemporary composers such as Andy Scott

Although best known for his film music, like many old school composers Michel Legrand also writes music for other purposes including concert music as this new album demonstrates:

"Bach & Friends" is a wonderful film tribute to the composer Bach, told by a wide range of world class musicians who continue to draw inspiration from the composer's work:

  • Bach & Friends comes as a double-DVD - DVD1 consisting of the documentary film (by filmmaker Michael Lawrence) and DVD2 containing all the performances used as musical examples in the film

In this review called "Historical Timbres", Jeffrey Dane takes us on a journey of exploration among the pianos once played by Brahms which feature on this release:

The following album recreates historic piano roll recordings made a century ago, though the re-performances on Blu-ray and CD are of the highest quality and recorded using modern methods:

"Zirkus" is the new album by pianist Cary Chow, playing two major works by Robert Schumann: "Carnaval" and "Kreisleriana":

  • Zirkus meaning "Circus" is an excellent introduction to Schumann's piano music and showcases the talents of pianist Cary Chow playing "Carnaval" and "Kreisleriana"

"Browns in Blue" is the latest album from "The 5 Browns", a group of 5 brothers and sisters who are all exceptionally talented pianists:

  • Browns in Blue features an eclectic selection of Classical and Jazz tracks performed by the 5 Browns and guests

The idea of "Classical Baby" is to give parents two musical tools to help with their child's development: CD1 to provide "Baby Brain Food" and CD2 to "Soothe and Calm":

  • Classical Baby has a total of 44 tracks by various classical and film composers

This Woody Allen film, though with a modern setting, has a soundtrack of opera standards many of which are recordings of the great tenor Enrico Caruso:

  • Match Point with songs from operas by Giuseppe Verdi and others

Trained at the Yehudi Menuhin School, 17 year old Nicola Benedetti releases her first album with the work which won her the BBC Young Musician of the Year award in 2004:

  • Nicola Benedetti plays Szymanowski's 1st Violin Concerto and a number of other works for violin and orchestra.

The following double album is a collection of the most exciting music from the classical repertoire:

The soundtrack to the following film is almost unique in its use of classical music throughout:

Experience some complete Tone Poems by Richard Strauss including the one whose opening section provides the main title music for "2001: A Space Odyssey":

Gustav Mahler has been a featured composer on this site since its initial launch in May 2000. Here is our review of a budget CD collection of all Mahler's symphonies:

Highly influenced by Mahler we also review a double CD album featuring two acclaimed symphonies by Dmitri Shostakovich :

Classical Performances

We cover any interesting performances within mfiles, but particularly we focus on concerts of classical or film music. Of course there is sometimes a fine line between the two, but here are a couple of classical performances and other film music performances are listed in the Performance Reviews section.