New Classics reviews CDs as well as books and DVD and Blu-ray film releases. The music ranges from Americana, country and rock to jazz, blues, folk, opera and classical. DVDs on review include television, music and feature films, from box office movie hits to film noir and silent classics.
The latest reviews include J S Bach’s brilliant Six Cello Suites, played by acclaimed Russian cellist Marina Tarasova.
Tell ’Em You Were Gold is a new album by the Pharis & Jason Romero, whose old-time, country-folk and early roots music has made them three-time Juno Award and seven-time Canadian Folk Music Award winners.
Luis Buñuel’s elegant satire, The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, has a brilliant cast that includes Delphine Seyrig, Fernando Rey, Stéphane Audran and the delightful Bulle Ogier.
Outside The Law is a gritty silent crime thriller directed by Tod Browning, starring glamorous Priscilla Dean as hard-boiled jewel thief ‘Silky Moll’ and the great Lon Chaney outstanding in two roles.
Charming Ashley Jensen stars again as beloved amateur detective Agatha Raisin, solving murder mysteries in a sleepy Cotswolds village.
Giuseppe Verdi’s masterpiece, Don Carlo, from Royal Opera House, is conducted by Bernard Haitink with a superb cast that includes Ileana Cotrubas as Elisabetta and Luis Lima in the title role.
A Blu-ray release from BFI of The Last Metro, a late masterpiece directed by François Truffaut, starring Catherine Deneuve and Gérard Depardieu.
Wagner’s three-act opera Tristan und Isolde feature in a 3-CD release of a live recording conducted by Franz Welser-Möst, with the Vienna State Opera and soloists including acclaimed Swedish soprano Nina Stemme as Isolde and Peter Seiffert as Tristan.
A new Blu-ray release from Opus Arte includes a performance of Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo given at the historic Teatro La Fenice in Venice, conducted by John Eliot Gardiner,
My Brilliant Friend: Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay is the the third and best series yet in this mesmerising tale of female friendship, starring Margherita Mazzucco as Elena and the strikingly beautiful Gaia Girace as Lila.
A new release of I Am a Camera, set in wild and wanton 1930s Berlin, stars Laurence Harvey as Christopher Isherwood with Julie Harris as the iconic Sally Bowles.
Meyerbeer’s comic opera L’Étoile du Nord features in a Wexford Festival Opera production with a dazzling young cast under the direction of Vladimir Jurowski.
Three sets of Lieder und Gesänge by Robert Schumann can be heard in the acclaimed series from Naxos, with tenor Simon Bode, soprano Caroline Melzer, and pianist Ulrich Eisenlohr.
The Tightening of the Screws is a dark and dynamic new album by the brilliant American musician and songwriter Gurf Morlix.
Innocents in Paris is a delightful, light-hearted film classic starring Alastair Sim, Margaret Rutherford, Ronald Shiner, Claire Bloom, Margaret Rutherford and Jimmy Edwards.
A splendid CD box set from MSR features Mozart’s Complete Sonatas for Violin & Piano, superbly played by Andrew Smith and Joshua Pierce.
A new 3-CD release from Capriccio features the distinguished Bulgarian composer Pancho Vladigerov’s Orchestral Works, including his ‘Lyulin’ Impressions Suite and Three Pieces for String Orchestra.
A stirring Second World War thriller, The Silent Enemy, is based on the heroic wartime exploits of Lionel ‘Buster’ Crabb and stars Laurence Harvey.
Naxos has released a Blu-ray of Mozart’s best loved opera, Così fan tutte, filmed at the Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in Italy, featuring soprano Valentina Nafornita as Fiordiligi) and acclaimed baritone Thomas Hampson as Don Alfonso.
A new Blu-ray release of three chilling Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror from the vaults of Universal Pictures features genre legends such as Lionel Atwill and Lon Chaney, Jr.
Edward Cowie’s Where Song Was Born is an album of entrancing music inspired by the iconic birds of Australia.
The Gift Horse is a classic British film that pays tribute to a raid carried out during the Second World War called ‘Operation Chariot’. Its starry cast includes Trevor Howard and Richard Attenborough.
A splendid 3-SACD box set of French composer Auguste Fauchard’s Complete Organ Works from CPO features congenial interpretations by Friedhelm Flamme.
Frederic Curzon’s The Robin Hood Suite and other masterpieces show that ‘he was a classic among English light music composers’.
Internationally acclaimed John Bullard’s fascinating recording of 24 Preludes for Solo Banjo includes music specially commissioned from composer Adam Larrabee.
The Indian Tomb is a lavish adventure thriller co-written by Fritz Lang and starring the excellent Conrad Veidt, now available on Blu-ray.
A DVD of the hit Irish-noir crime-drama series Acceptable Risk stars the brilliant Angeline Ball and Elaine Cassidy.
Swedish composer Jonathan Östlund’s Imago is an album with 35 tracks of music that is attractive, full of wit and humour.
The new Blu-ray release from Opus Arte of Mozart’s Don Giovanni features a striking production for the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, with award-winning design that accentuates the beauty of this dazzling opera.
The Gentle Gunman is a rarely seen classic crime thriller, stylishly directed by Basil Dearden, starring John Mills Dirk Bogarde and Elizabeth Sellars.
A new CD from Naxos features Sir Arthur Sullivan’s Incidental Music for three stage plays, two of them Shakespearian, showing the composer’s brilliance and versatility.
A handsome five-CD box set of the Complete Works for Piano and Orchestra by Ferdinand Ries are given exuberant performances by Austrian pianist Christopher Hinterhuber.
Herself is a heart-warming film directed by Phyllida Lloyd with great performances by young Irish actress Clare Dunne and the excellent Harriet Walter.
Two new releases from Divine Art feature music by the underrated French composer Camille Saint-Saëns, played by acclaimed pianist Antony Gray.
A new Blu-ray release from Naxos features Henry Purcell’s exhilarating opera Dido & Aeneas in an acclaimed performance at the Opéra Comique in Paris, starring Malena Ernman and Christopher Maltman in the title roles.
The Opus Two duo’s A Little Night Music: Suite for Violin and Piano features music by the great Stephen Sondheim’s arranged by Broadway composer Eric Stern.
Light In A Time Of Darkness is a new recording by JoAnn Falletta and the Buffalo Philharmonic orchestra of works chosen for their emotional depth and spirituality.
A terrific album by Vivian Leva and Riley Calcagno features an aptly biting, bittersweet group of songs for an uncertain time.
Naxos has released a new Blu-ray of Jean-Joseph Cassanéa de Mondonville’s spectacular opéra-ballet Titon et l’Aurore (‘Tithonus and Aurora’), filmed in 2021 at the Opéra Comique in Paris.
Jean-Pierre Melville’s Les Enfants terribles is a mysterious and disturbing film exploring desire and unrequited love, written by the unique Jean Cocteau and starring Nicole Stéphane.
Mieczyslaw Weinberg’s opera, The Passenger, the finest work by one of the most outstanding composers of the 20th Century.
G W Pabst’s classic film, The Love of Jeanne Ney, is a masterpiece now available for the first time on Blu-ray in Eureka’s wonderful Masters of Cinema Series,
Hideaki Anno’s engrossing Neon Genesis Evangelion is a ground-breaking Sci-Fi series and one of the most celebrated anime of all time.
Opus Arte has released a Blu-ray of the spectacular Don Quixote choregraphed and directed by superstar Rudolf Nureyev – one of the most exciting ballet performances ever caught on camera
A 5-CD set from Naxos features the ever popular Leroy Anderson’s Orchestral Music, including Sleigh Ride, The Syncopated Clock and his impressive Piano Concerto
A new DVD release of the second series of the charming, much-loved All Creatures Great and Small, based on the hugely popular novels of James Herriot.
Blu-ray from Eureka of Early Universal, Vol 2 that features three more great films from the legendary studio, including the wonderful What Happened to Jones?
Impressions is an album of wonderful music by the Bulgarian composer Pancho Vladigerov, beautifully played by Japanese pianist Etsuko Hirose.
A new Blu-ray release from Naxos of Jean-Philippe Rameau’s opera Hippolyte et Aricie stars Belgian tenor Reinoud Van Mechelen and the captivating French soprano Elsa Benoit.
Edward Cowie’s Bird Portraits, a cycle of 24 ‘sonic portraits’ inspired by British birds from four distinctive habitats, superbly played by violinist Peter Sheppard Skærved and pianist Roderick Chadwick.
A new DVD of the third series of Jez Butterworth’s hallicogenic and enjoyably over the top Britannia features a cast of capricious Celts and ruthless Romans.
Sol & Pat is by best friends Patricia Kopatchinskaja and Sol Gabetta, who play music for a surprisingly rare combination of violin-cello duo.
OEHMS has released a recording of Luxembourg-born composer Lou Koster’s enchanting Der Geiger von Echternach (The Violinist of Echternach, or ‘The Echternach Fiddler’).
A 6-CD box set from Naxos contains the Complete Symphonies and Dances of Malcolm Arnold, one of the 20th century’s most popular and prolific composers.
The brilliant Falbalas is a scandalous drama set in the glamorous world of fashion, directed by Jacques Becker and starring the beautiful Micheline Presle and Raymond Rouleau.
A new double-CD from Gothic features Todd Wilson playing the exceptional Murray M. Harris Organ of Saint James-in-the-City, Los Angeles.
Volume 7 of George Philipp Telemann’s appealing and elegant Violin Concertos are stylishly played by Elizabeth Wallfisch and the Wallfisch Band.
A Naxos Blu-ray release features Reynaldo Hahn’s elegant, witty and sophisticated Ciboulette, one of the masterpieces of French operetta, in an acclaimed production from the Opéra Comique, Paris.
‘Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.’ – Albert Einstein.