Top Ear


Comprehensive Review: Orff’s Carmina Burana


Jeremy Lee writes

Orff’s You-Know-What:  to many, all you have to do is mention the composer Orff to a casual classical music lover and immediately you will get one of two responses:  Carmina Burana, or O Fortuna.  In fact Carmina Burana (which is, to those of you who don’t know better, Continue reading



Comprehensive Review: Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 on piano

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Jeremy Lee writes

After Top Ear’s previous two comprehensives, both on Brahms (the 4th symphony and Ein Deutsches Requiem respectively), we’ve decided we should do our third one on a smaller single work.  Therefore, I present you with a comprehensive review on what is arguably the most overplayed Liszt piece ever written:  Continue reading


Ein Deutsches Requiem: A comprehensive review

Jeremy Lee writes

After a brief hiatus, here’s Top Ear’s second comprehensive, this time on 12 different recordings of Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem, purely a labour of love of Brahms’ music.

Just a few of the recordings reviewed here

The work, whose conception and progress was apparently spurred by the notion of Brahms’ mother’s eminent death as well as a work by Schumann of a similar title, remains to this day one of his finest achievements and testimony of his study in counterpoint, as well as one of the Continue reading


Comprehensive Review: Brahms 4th Symphony

Leonard Ip writes Voila! This is Top Ear’s first comprehensive, and the work featured is one of the towering works of the 19th century symphonic literature – Brahms’s Fourth Symphony.

Brahms looking intimidating on a hair commercial

Brahms’s Fourth Symphony is regarded as the pinnacle of his symphonic writing. For everyone interested in the monumental technical achievement of the work, this review must refer to Leonard Bernstein, who gave a breathtaking, phrase-to-phrase analysis of the first movement only on the radio (the transcript, along with the piano score of the musical examples, is published in his book, The Joy of Music). Youtube has Continue reading