Elgar Reimagined – Raphael Wallfisch with the English String Orchestra/Kenneth Woods

Posted By: Sinead O'Carroll, 22nd March 2021

Emma Johnson & John Lenehan perform Brahms, Debussy, Bernstein and more for Absolute Classics

Posted By: Sinead O'Carroll, 25th February 2021

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25 February 2021 Emma Johnson explores humour in classical music with her new talk ‘Comedy Classical’

Posted By: Sinead O'Carroll, 19th February 2021

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Raphael and John York give recital to raise funds to save Victoria Tower Gardens

Posted By: Sinead O'Carroll, 19th February 2021

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BBC Music Magazine 5 Star Review for the Arcadia Quartet’s/Chandos Record’s recent release

Posted By: Sinead O'Carroll, 19th February 2021

BBC Music Magazine 5 Star Review for the Arcadia Quartet

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Piers Lane and Tasmin Little nominated for BBC Music Magazine Award

Posted By: Sinead O'Carroll, 19th February 2021

Tasmin Little and Piers Lane have been nominated for a BBC Music Magazine Award 2021 in the chamber music category.  The nomination is for Tasmin’s and Piers’ last recital disc together on Chandos Records prior to her retirement last December.

You are invited to vote – it only takes a minute!

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BBC Radio 3 ‘Record of the Week’ – Arcadia Quartet/Weinberg Quartets/Chandos Records

Posted By: Sinead O'Carroll, 11th January 2021

Congratulations to the Arcadia Quartet and Chandos Records as their first disc of Weinberg String Quartets (Not 2, 5 & 8) are BBC Radio 3’s ‘Record of the Week’ this week.

You can listen again to the programme presented by Andrew McGregor at the following link; the announcement and the review can be found at 2:29:03:

The disc can be purchased and downloaded from Chandos Records:

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Tasmin Little & Piers Lane perform in York – Concert available online (free) from Weds, 9 December 2020

Posted By: Sinead O'Carroll, 2nd December 2020

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Christmas is in the air: Emma Johnson plays Christmas concert at Romsey Abbey – 12 Dec 2020

Posted By: Sinead O'Carroll, 2nd December 2020

Gorgeous Christmas programme at Romsey Abbey on 12 December 2020, featuring clarinetist Emma Johnson.

In a time when concerts are few, it is so wonderful that live music returns to Hampshire in a socially distanced concert to celebrate Christmas.

Tickets available at

Romsey Abbey 7pm Emma Johnson with Andrew West, piano

Beethoven Variations on La Ci Darem La Mano
Schumann Fantasy Pieces
Mozart Larghetto
Emma Johnson Isolation Lament
Monti Czardas
Reade Prelude from the Victorian Kitchen Garden
Joplin The Entertainer
Gershwin Medley
Trad. arr. Johnson Coventry Carol
Trad. arr. Johnson We Wish You a Merry Christmas
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Review: Raphael Wallfisch shows affinity for Weinberg Cello Concerto

Posted By: Sinead O'Carroll, 26th October 2020

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Raphael Wallfisch shows affinity for Weinberg Cello Concerto

At first blush, it may seem like a recording of Mieczyslaw Weinberg’s music doesn’t belong in the Cello Concertos by Exiled Jewish Composers series. After all, wasn’t Weinberg a Soviet composer?

He was, but he very much belongs in this series. Weinberg was born in Warsaw. His family moved to Russia, and after the Revolution, it was impossible for him to return. He was effectively an exile within the Soviet Union.

And his religion and personality made him somewhat of a political exile, too. Weinberg seemed to alternate between winning Stalin prizes and threatened with arrest.

The works in this release show a slightly different side of Weinberg. His style is often compared to that of his close friend Dimitri Shostakovich. These works, though, have a strong Jewish musical element in them. And that sound is purely Weinberg.

This release features three works. The Cello Concertino Op.43bis served as the basis for the much larger Cello Concerto Op. 43 (both performed here). Also included is the  Fantasia, Op. 52.

The Concerto is double the length of the Concertino — but it’s just padding. The Concertino is a modest, tightly-focused work. Weinberg’s music features Jewish melodic elements prominently, IN 1948 such overtly religious overtones were dangerous, and the work remained shelved and unheard for decades.

In expanding the work, Weinberg softened the Jewish elements. But Wallfisch’s playing shows they’re still there. He bends the tones in the style of a Jewish cantor, making plain the work’s foundation.

The Fantasia also uses Jewish melodic patterns, but this time set against harmonies that are both more complex and less tonal than his 1943 concerto.

As always, Wallfisch’s sympathetic performances provide insight into the scores. In this case, his decision to highlight the Jewish elements in the music provides added insight into the complex personality of Mieczyslaw Weinberg.

Mieczyslaw Weinberg: Cello Concerto Op. 43
Fantasy, op. 42; Concertino op. 43bis
Cello Concertos by Exiled Jewish Composers
Raphael Wallfisch, cello
Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra; Lukasz Borowicz, conductor

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