Just five minutes from Waterloo Station is the splendid 1901 Arts Club, an elegant venue that seeks to recreate the “salon culture” of 19th-century Europe. The building, a former schoolmaster’s house built in 1901, retains its late Victorian exterior, while inside the richly-decorated rooms suggest a private home. There is a comfortable upstairs sitting room and bar, and an intimate recital area downstairs, with a medium-sized Steinway piano set against a backdrop of gold swags and tails. The staff are welcoming and friendly, and the whole ambience is that of a private concert in your own home. It made for a very unique experience of the first book of J S Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, performed by Japanese pianist Kimiko Ishizaka.

Ms Ishizaka is on a mission to bring Bach to the people and to make his wonderful music accessible to everyone. Her Open Goldberg Variations, a crowd-funded (via Kickstarter), non-profit project that created a high-quality recording, typeset score and iPad app all free to download, is a fine example of her democratic approach.

Bach composed his Well-Tempered Clavier “for the profit and use of musical youth desirous of learning, and especially for the pastime of those already skilled in this study”, in effect the forty-eight Preludes and Fugues are technical studies or Etudes, and were probably never intended to be performed as concert pieces. But in the years since their publication, the “48” as they are also called, have come to be regarded as some of the finest writing for keyboard. The works offer great variety of styles, structure, textures, colours, and moods, all of which Ms Ishizaka demonstrated in her performance.

In a concert lasting nearly two hours (with an interval), we experienced a committed and intense performance in which Ms Ishizaka highlighted the shifting moods and soundscapes of Bach’s writing. A serene opening Prelude in C Major (the most famous of the entire 48) launched us on a journey of discovery through dances and chorales (D minor and B-flat minor Preludes), joy and yearning (C-sharp major and F minor Preludes), sunshine and sadness (D major and C-sharp minor Preludes), seriousness and serenity (E mjaor and C minor Preludes). Ms Ishizaka eschewed the pedal throughout, though not through any wish to present a historically authentic performance. Rather, she did not need it: her superior legato technique created some exquisite cantabile playing, especially in the slow movements, while sprightly passagework and lively tempi gave the suggestion of the harpsichord in the rapid movements. Her sense of counterpoint was well-defined in the Fugues, with clear lines and distinct voices.

Ms Ishizaka is not afraid of robust fortes, perhaps sometimes too robust for the size of the venue, but overall her dynamic range was varied and colourful. There was judicious use of rubato in the Preludes, and some rather fine highlighting of dissonances and unusual harmonies, showing the forward pull of Bach’s musicial vision. Although a rather long evening of music, it was a fine lesson in Bach’s compositional thought, presented in an elegant and powerful performance.

Kimiko Ishizaka’s Meet the Artist interview

Open Goldberg Variations project

1901 Arts Club

Clare Hammond (image credit Julie Kim)

Who or what inspired you to take up the piano and make it your career?

I was given piano lessons for my sixth birthday. My mother had always wanted to learn but had never had the chance so she was keen that I had the opportunity. I enjoyed the lessons, but didn’t consider making a career of music until I was 8 and was taken to an orchestral concert at the Royal Centre in Nottingham. I can’t remember which orchestra I heard now, unfortunately, but I was absolutely swept away by the music and decided then and there that I wanted to be a pianist. Of course, I had no idea then what this would entail, but the seed had been sown!

Who or what are the most important influences on your playing?

I think it’s important as a musician to be open to all sorts of influences so I couldn’t really point to any dominant strains in my playing. I try to listen to as many live performances and recordings as possible, and also to take what I can from observing theatre, dance and even sport. I enjoy teaching and learn a great deal both from explaining things in novel ways to my students and from the phrases they use to articulate their problems or thoughts to me.

What have been the greatest challenges of your career so far?

I spend a great deal of time working by myself and have found, as a result, that the greatest challenge of my career is to maintain perspective. It’s very easy to be thrown off course temporarily by minor setbacks and I sometimes feel that there is so much to achieve, in such a short space of time, that it can be extremely daunting.

What are the particular challenges/excitements of working with an orchestra/ensemble?

I adore working with orchestras and ensembles as it’s such a pleasure to be able to react to somebody else’s sound. You are forced to collaborate in real time, which is both risky and incredibly exciting. It’s easier to track the emotional and psychological development of a work when you’re not solely responsible for it, or at least it’s less exhausting to sustain!

Which recordings are you most proud of?

I’m most proud of my debut album, ‘Piano Polyptych’, which is a collection of contemporary piano music by British composers. It was quite a strain to learn all the repertoire in time for the recording, especially as much of it is extremely complex, but I have had so many opportunities as a result of the project. It was a particular pleasure to collaborate with the composers. It’s a completely different experience when you’re working on music by living composers as they can tell you exactly what kind of sound they’re aiming for. It brings an element of dialogue into what can otherwise be a very solitary pursuit.

Do you have a favourite concert venue?

I’ve performed in a number of venues with wonderful acoustics, but my principal concern when playing in concert is the quality of the piano. Recently, the best that I’ve encountered was at St George’s Hall in Bristol. Their newer Steinway is extremely responsive and has a very pure, glowing tone, supported admirably by the acoustic of the hall itself.

Who are your favourite musicians?

Personally or musically? In either case, I’m not sure I can answer this question. I know so many wonderful musicians who have so much to offer that to place them in any kind of order would be impossible!

What is your most memorable concert experience?

My most memorable experience of performing was not for an official concert per se but at my parents-in-law’s house. My father-in-law is a vicar and I gave a recital for a music society near to his parish a few months ago. Several of his parishioners were keen to hear me but couldn’t make it to the recital so we arranged a coffee concert the following morning. I performed on an upright piano in their front room, surrounded by about 12 people many of whom had never been to a classical music concert before. I’m not sure if it was due to the intimacy of the venue, or the fact that I knew many of these people personally, but I felt that my playing was at its most communicative. I now try to recreate that, with varying levels of success, in larger halls!

What is your favourite music to play? To listen to?

Again, I can’t give a specific answer to this question. Different works or styles of music are suitable for different occasions and express wildly varying emotions. In fact, one of things I love about being a pianist is the breadth of the repertoire. However hard you work, you can never learn everything that has been written for the piano so there are always new horizons to strive towards.

What do you consider to be the most important ideas and concepts to impart to aspiring musicians/students?

I’ve found that the most important skill in teaching is to be able to tailor what you’re trying to explain to the particular skills and aptitudes of the student. Of course, there is a broad ‘syllabus’ of concepts that you need to communicate to students depending on the level that they’re currently at, but you also need to draw out what is individual and unique about them as a person. When I was studying with Ronan O’Hora, at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, I had the impression that he never taught two students in the same way. First, you have to understand the student as a personality, and then you can start teaching them music.

What are you working on at the moment?

I’ve been working on Piani, Latebre by Piers Hellawell, whose Das Leonora Notenbuch and Basho I recorded as part of ‘Piano Polyptych’. Piani, Latebre was commissioned by the pianist William Howard who premiered it at the Spitalfields Festival in 2010. I performed it as part of my inaugural recital as Artist-in-Residence at Queen’s University Belfast on 11th October 2012. My programme also included two pieces, Portrait and Spring Fantasy, by the Northern-Irish composer, Hamilton Harty, which have only recently been discovered. It’s quite exciting to give a world premiere of pieces which were written nearly 80 years ago!

What is your present state of mind?

Calm, on the whole, and drowsy. I’ve just eaten an enormous meal and the resulting haze of contentedness is impeding my ability to think clearly…

Acclaimed by The Daily Telegraph as a pianist of “amazing power and panache”, Clare Hammond has performed across Europe, Russia and Canada and has appeared recently at the Wigmore and Barbican Halls in London and the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester. Her Purcell Room debut for the Park Lane Group concert series was praised by The Guardian for its “crisp precision and unflashy intelligence”.

A passionate advocate of twentieth and twenty-first century music, Clare combines a formidable technique and virtuosic flair onstage with stylistic integrity and attention to detail. Since her debut with orchestra at the age of eleven, she has acquired a concerto repertoire of over 20 works which she has performed at major venues across the UK and on the continent. Solo engagements have included recitals in concert series and festivals across Britain, in France, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Denmark and Russia.

Clare Hammond’s full biography

Recordings, film clips and an interview at www.clarehammond.com/recordings.html

Forthcoming concerts:

Monday 24 June, City of London Festival

Saxton – Chacony for left hand alone; Bach-Brahms – Chaconne in D minor, transcribed for left hand; Harty – Portrait, Spring Fantasy; Sibelius – Five Pieces for Piano, Op. 75 “The Trees”; Saxton – Hortus Musicae (world premiere)

Tickets and further information here

Further information at www.clarehammond.com/concerts.html

How we behave at classical music concerts, as performers and audience members, has been in the news again lately, following a recent speech by Max Hole, CEO of Universal Music, in which he called on orchestras and conductors to “loosen up”  and shed their elitist image in order to attract more people to concerts.

Those of us who go to concerts regularly are perhaps a little puzzled by Mr Hole’s comments which do not chime with our concert experiences (popular programmes, sold out concerts, enthusiastic and committed audiences). Music journalist, blogger and novellist Jessica Duchen has written a sensible blog post in response to Mr Hole’s comments, summing up succinctly what most of us “regulars” feel about classical concerts.

And now, as if this wasn’t enough, Andreas Wagener, a professor from the university of Hannover, has published a learned paper on the “economics of concert etiquette” in which he examines the extent of coughing in concert halls and what is behind the phenomenon.

When I first heard about this via Radio 4’s Today programme, I roared with laughter – because a 32 page document on this subject does suggest an academic who’s got too much time on his hands. But to show willing, I downloaded the text and read a bit of it with my breakfast. I was listening to Radio 3 by this time and Professor Wagener’s paper was causing quite a stir on the ariwaves, with listeners suggesting – via all forms of social media available to them – reasons as to why people cough at concerts. In his paper, the learned Prof suggests that it is deliberate and subversive, a form of civil disobedience. Eh?

Coughing at concerts can be irritating: I was at a Beethoven recital at the Queen Elizabeth Hall last spring, given by the French pianist François-Fréderic Guy. The coughing started fairly early on in the proceedings and reached a crescendo during the iconic opening movement of the Op 27/2, so much so that the pianist actually turned and stared at the audience for a moment, clearly disturbed by the cacophony of coughing. But I have to say this is the first time I’ve ever seen a performer react to coughing (the pianist Alfred Brendel once warned his audience: “Either you stop coughing or I stop playing!”).

A professional pianist colleague of mine told me he likes to hear the noise of the audience, a reminder that the event is “live” – and there are plenty of other noises that can be far more distracting: phones going off (turn it OFF, not to ‘silent’, FFS!), someone trying (and failing) to extract cough sweets (oh the irony!) from a foil blister pack, the woman who emptied the entire contents of her handbag on the floor at the Wigmore (and then picked everything up and replaced it), the man who fossicked around in a selection of very crunchy plastic bags during an encore, hearing aids whistling (common at the Wigmore). Not to mention the hummers….. Some years ago I attended a rather special recital at the Cobbe Collection at Hatchlands in Surrey, at which the pianist performed music by Chopin on a Pleyel piano, thought to have been owned by Chopin himself. Throughout the recital, the man to my right hummed, loudly and lustily, but at no point was he ever in tune with the music!

I don’t know why people cough at concerts. It is probable more noticeable in the concert hall than elsewhere because we are all sitting in concentrated silence. The atmosphere in concert halls can be dry and/or hot, which can provoke a coughing fit. A friend of mine gets so anxious about not coughing in a concert that she inevitably coughs, and I think anxiety is a common cause of coughing at concerts. Another friend, and regular concert companion, has special “concert sweets” which she passes around before the performance begins. Sucking a sweet is often enough of a distraction to prevent the dread tickle in the throat, and many concert venues sell boiled sweets in the foyer. One tip from a regular, though – don’t come to a concert if you have a cold, chest infection, sore throat. It can be miserable trying to blow your nose/stifle a coughing fit during a concert: if you’re ill, you should probably stay at home and listen to the concert on Radio 3.

A well-prepared performer should not be overly troubled by coughing and other “living” noises from the audience. When we prepare for performance, we train ourselves to concentrate, to be “in the zone”, and this ability to shut oneself off from extraneous noise is a key part of practice and performance (Glenn Gould famously practiced while his mother vacuumed around him, or with the radio playing).

I suspect that one of the most common reasons why fellow-audience members get annoyed by coughers is that they are listening for tiny changes and variations from their favourite recording, a peril of listening to music in the age of high-quality recordings. I will be examining this subject in more detail in a separate article.

So, let’s try not to get too worked up about coughing, or what the conductor wears, or whether the female soloist’s dress was on or off the shoulder (if you’re focusing too much on her outfit, you’re probably not listening to what she’s playing!). If you’ve got a bad cold/cough, it’s probably best to stay at home; if not, come out and enjoy the fantastic classical music that is on offer, every night of the year, all around the world.

More “faff” about concert etiquette here

And more good advice on concert going here

Recently, I had the very great pleasure of interviewing GéNIA, Russian pianist and teacher, and creator of innovative piano technique, Piano-Yoga®. We met at London’s prestigious Steinway Hall to talk about many aspects of piano teaching and performing, and, in a departure from the usual format of the At the Piano….. interviews, our conversation was filmed.

The videos will be published in six short instalments. In the first, we discuss GéNIA’s musical heritage, her first piano, the influence of her great-grand uncle Vladimir Horowitz, significant teachers and other influences that affected GéNIA’s musical development.

For more information on Piano-Yoga® please visit

www.piano-yoga.com

More At the Piano…… interviews

kimiko_di_100-708x352Who or what inspired you to take up the piano, and make it your career? 

The inspiration to play piano came to me at the age of four when my mother first placed my tiny hands on the keyboard and pushed my fingers down with hers, thus teaching me the first piece I learned, the Minuet BWV 114 from Anna Magdalena’s Notebook, which at that time we still believed to be a piece by J.S. Bach. I say inspiration, but really it was a decision: a decision, that I would be a pianist, which was probably made before I was born.

The more interesting moment in time is the point at which I actually embraced my future and identity as a pianist. Certain experiences in my life, which began at university, contributed to my actively making the decision to become a musician for myself: the first time I really connected with an audience as a soloist (my early years were dominated by chamber music); having success at sports; learning a second language: these are all things that I needed to experience before I could embrace fully embrace the decision to be a pianist.

Who or what were the most important influences on your playing/composing? 

Everybody’s playing is a conglomerate of personal experience, and memories. I cannot name any single influence. However, there are many small clues that added up over time to lead me down a road of exploration that eventually allowed me to find my own voice as a pianist.

My experience as a weight lifter taught me that the millimetre matters, that a small change in the shift of your balance can mean the difference between success and failure. Also, my music school professor, Roswitha Gediga, would admonish me to relax my shoulders, to get to the bottom of the keys, and would demonstrate this to me in my lessons.

Those experiences and memories led me to deeply explore the physical aspect of my playing. And in the sanctity of my practice room, with the requisite time for exploration, I’ve looked at my playing and progressively learned about the physical mechanics of piano technique. You can’t do that type of exploration when you’ve got one 70-page chamber piece to get through after the next, where you really can’t ever find the time to get into the detail of each motion.

What have been the greatest challenges of your career so far? 

Every new piece that a pianist learns is a great challenge. It’s never the same set of problems twice, but this is a good thing, really. It keeps it fresh.

One challenge came at the point when I stopped playing in the chamber ensemble that occupied the first 17 years of my career. We had been playing up to 50 concerts a year and that number pretty much went to zero for me overnight when we quit. So while it was a profound change in the rhythm of my life, it afforded me the space and peace to finally embrace my identity as a pianist and make it my own.

Which performances and recordings are you most proud of?

I am most proud of my recent solo recording from the Open Goldberg Variations project that completely occupied the last two years of my life. It was a large project that involved many more people than just myself, and we produced something that is truly new and beautiful.

The recording of J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations is now in the public domain, as is the new engraving of the score of the piece, which I assisted in editing. People can get this recording directly from the Open Goldberg website – www.opengoldbergvariations.org – and enjoy the full freedom of a public domain work. That means you can download it, share it, and even use it as the starting point for new creative works.

Do you have a favourite concert venue to perform in? 

Any hall with a Bösendorfer and an attentive audience.

I recently played in the Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport, Massachusetts. The hall features a window behind the performer that looks out over the ocean. I liked that quite a bit because as I was warming up during the day, all sorts of birds were swimming in the water right below me.

There are some halls on my wish list as well. From the photographs I imagine that it is divine playing in the Snape Maltings Concert Hall in Suffolk.

In the end, music is this ephemeral thing with a very strange heartbeat of its own. When it’s a good performance, the music is all that matters. So whether it’s a large audience or small, whether the piano is working with you or against you, and whether the hall is resonant or dull, the pianist only has the music to think about in every case.

Favourite pieces to perform? Listen to? 

Music is a very personal thing. I recently performed a concert that was half Bach and half Chopin. It was interesting to me after the concert to listen to the audience members debating amongst themselves whether the Bach part or the Chopin part was the better, more enjoyable half.

Just like the audience at that concert, I have my personal preferences. I seek out the pieces that speak to me in the most profound way. The piano repertoire is very large, and there is far too much for anybody to play in a lifetime. So I have focused on a few composers to whom I have the closest relationship. This includes Bach, Schubert, Debussy, and more recently, Chopin. This is something that will certainly continue to evolve.

Who are your favourite musicians?

There are many, of course, though I don’t listen to recordings nearly as much as one would expect. One of the most inspiring concerts I’ve attended recently was Radu Lupu performing Schubert and Schumann in Amsterdam.

What is your most memorable concert experience? 

When I was 11, the trio I played in with my brothers debuted at the Sogakudo Concert Hall in Tokyo. At the time all three of us played both piano and a string instrument – mine was the violin. We played every combination of violin, cello, and piano music possible, including 6-handed piano.

What I remember distinctly was the audience’s extreme enthusiasm for what we had done. Many of them had brought flowers, and they placed the bouquets on the stage as we played successive encores. By the end there were over 30 bouquets, and this made a strong impression on me as a child.

What do you consider to be the most important ideas and concepts to impart to aspiring musicians? 

Be yourself. Attending your 20th masterclass won’t make you any smarter than the 19th did. Study the music, the actual piece. Not someone’s analysis of it, or the composer’s life, or the 10 other pieces that were written at the same time. The piece is supposed to stand by itself, and it’s got its own message, but you need to take the time to find it.

What do you enjoy doing most? 

Taking walks in the fresh snow. When the snow and ice go crunch under my feet I experience an advanced elevated state of happiness that cannot be equalled by anything.

German-born Japanese pianist Kimiko Ishizaka performs the first book of Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier at the 1901 Arts Cub, London on Wednesday 30th January. Further information and tickets here

The Open Goldberg Project

Kimiko Ishizaka’s biography

In November 2012, I was asked to contribute to a podcast for Bachtrack on reviewing piano concerts. This post takes some of the points from the podcast and expands them.

There was a time, not so long ago and at least within my living memory, when critics were regarded as significant arbiters of taste and culture who could, seemingly, make or break a career with one well-aimed stroke of their incisive pen. But critics are not gods (and never have been), and these days, with the rise of blogging and tweeting, music criticism has become far more democratic. Many bloggers are not professional journalists, but many are musicians or teachers, who are competent and intelligent writers with a depth and range of knowledge often superior to that of broadsheet music writers. Many of us (myself included) write about classical music simply because we love it. Bloggers and online critics tend to publish their reviews well in advance of broadsheet providers, sometimes the same night as the concert or at least the next morning, and offer a more personal but no less objective view of the concert. I also love the concept of tweeting during* and immediately after the concert, thus bringing an immediacy to the review, and an off the cuff, instant reaction comment can sometimes express far more than a considered paragraph written the next morning (*during the interval – naturally, my phone is turned off during the performance!).

“Audiences do not wish to be patronised”. This quote from a concert pianist friend of mine, in fact about the necessity to play all the repeats in Schubert’s last piano sonatas, could equally be applied to the reviewer’s attitude to his/her audience. While many audience members may not share the reviewer’s depth of knowledge or musical vocabulary, we should never talk down to our readers in the manner of children’s tv presenters. Good reviews should not seek to tell the public how to listen – nor instruct the musician in his art. A good review offers an objective overview of the concert.

“Classical music reviews are important because, if well written, they can serve as a guide for non-specialists or people new to the music, as well as providing a point of reference for those who attended the event reviewed. We believe that the best reviewers are very knowledgeable about music, and have the additional gift of being able to explain musical details in clear, accessible language. Because at Bachtrack we ask reviewers to write not only about performance but also about the works played, they can also be of interest to people wishing to learn more about pieces or performers when considering whether or not to attend events”

(Alison Karlin, founder & director of Bachtrack)

Rhapsodic, poetic and overblown writing at the expense of clear-sightedness can be irritating to read and may be used to mask a lack of knowledge. This review made me laugh out loud with its unnecessarily purple prose. Joking apart, it doesn’t really tell us that much about the music being performed. A little more historical/contextual background (and a little less “caressing the keys”) would have made this a far more informative and informed piece of criticism.

Conversely, a review which is confined only to technical analysis is dry and dull to read, and may come across as overly didactic or high-falutin. Such writing is really only accessible to other trained musicians or musicologists, and does not really get to the “soul” of the music. After all, it is the emotional engagement which most people seek when going to hear classical music (or indeed any music). Schumann said that the best music criticism is that which leaves after it an impression on the reader such as that which the music made on the hearer. In my own reviews, I seek always to create the impression of “being there”, while also offering the reader some background on the pieces being performed. A good review should arouse curiosity and pique the reader’s interest.

“Where sympathy is lacking, correct judgement is also lacking”

Mendelssohn

An objective reviewer should not be blind or deaf to faults or inconsistencies in a performance, but we should never glory in them. In fact, I have a few phrases which enable me to be “kind” in instances of sloppy playing or a memory lapse (“some uneven passages”, “an anxious moment” for example). And as an occasional performer myself, I understand the amount of time and effort that goes into preparing for a concert. Performers are human, just like the rest of us, and sometimes it is not always possible to arrive at the venue in a calm state of preparedness: maybe the traffic was bad, or one has a cold. These factors can affect the quality of a performance by even the most poised musicians.

For the performer, a review is an endorsement, a testimonial and a confirmation of their craft and art. Performers do not perform to please critics, but a good review or reviews can make a difference to a performer’s commercial success leading to increased concert attendances and CD sales, and for a young performer, greater confidence and credibility. British pianist Peter Donohoe has written eloquently and in great detail about the role of critics and their relationship with performers on his blog (see link below) and I will leave it to Peter to expand on this aspect.

I am always a little suspicious of performers who claim they “never read” reviews (Benjamin Grosvenor is a contemporary example). This apparent disregard suggests either an over-arching ego (“I’m far too important/talented to bother with reviews”), in which case the performer in question should perhaps exercise a degree of humility, or a lack of self-confidence (“I won’t read reviews in case the reviewer says something nasty/negative about me”). As Peter Donohoe says, performers should “take it as a compliment that the critic writes about you at all”. Conversely, it is always a great compliment (to me, at least), to see one’s review quoted on a performer’s website, or in some publicity material, or on a venue’s website. And if it’s any consolation to the performer whose last performance was panned by a critic, reviewers receive critical comments too. Writing about music is hard to do, because the activity of listening to music is highly subjective. I have received comments on my reviews suggesting that I have not heard a concert “properly” or disagreeing with my judgement of a particular performance. The answer to this is, of course, that we all hear differently and our enjoyment of music can be very personal.

When I contacted Peter Donohoe to thank him for such an interesting article on the role of critics, and for writing so warmly about my own blogging and reviewing activities, he replied that it was “because we are on the same side – that of the music”. And that, for me, sums up very neatly the reason why I write about music: I love music and care very passionately about classical music. It has been a significant part of my life since birth (there was music, live and on LP and the radio, in my parents’ and grandparents’ homes, I was taken to concerts from a young age, and encouraged to study music), and I’m not really sure what I’d do without it. Nearly every week of the year, I am at a concert, at the Wigmore Hall, the Southbank Centre, King’s Place, or in a small, intimate venue, in Hackney (Sutton House) or Walton (Riverhouse Barn). I enjoy a wide range of piano music, hear fantastic musicians, both established and up-and-coming, and writing about the music which I love has put me in touch with a remarkable group of people, who, far from being stuffy and elitist (a largely misguided perception of classical musicians) are normal, warm, intelligent, funny and generous (Peter, for example, kindly gave me some help with one of my Diploma pieces via the medium of Facebook). And if one of my reviews encourages someone to buy a ticket for a classical music concert, then I am doing my job right.

Read Peter Donohoe’s article on music critics here

Some other music reviewers/bloggers I follow

Boulezian (Mark Berry)

Orpheus Complex (Gavin Dixon)

JDCMB (Jessica Duchen)

Musical Toronto (John Terauds)

Classical Source

And some bad reviews from the Lexicon of Musical Invective