Top Ear


Featured Musician: A Maazel Celebration


The discs under consideration here.

Jeremy Lee writes

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DG’s Big Bernstein Box, Vol. 1

Jeremy Lee writes

I will start this review with a bold statement:  of all the oft-recorded conductors that have ever lived, no-one has had such a high proportion of great musicianship, great playing and great sonics in their discography than Leonard Bernstein on Deutsche Grammophon.  This is particularly remarkable given Continue reading

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Giulini in Vienna

Jeremy Lee writes

This 15CD box contains all of Giulini’s DG recordings with the Vienna Philharmonic and Vienna Symphony, including his concerto recordings.  A substantial proportion of the recordings featuring the Vienna Philharmonic would be considered “Late Giulini” (around mid-1980s), a style that was Continue reading

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John Ogdon’s Fascinating RCA Legacy

Jeremy Lee writes

To mark the 25th anniversary of the passing of British virtuoso pianist John Ogdon in 1989, RCA has wisely exhumed his complete recordings for the label, and since Ogdon did not record prolifically for RCA (most of his recordings are for EMI) this original jacket collection fits snugly on 6 discs at Continue reading

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Avdeeva in Hong Kong: Concert Review

Leonard Ip writes

With Avdeeva being the first female after Martha Argerich to have won the first prize of the Chopin Competition, and videos of her performances showing a thoughtful artist with a technique to burn (what a Wagner-Liszt Tannhauser Overture!), expectations were high on this recital. It wasn’t, however, Continue reading

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Trifonov: The Carnegie Recital

Leonard Ip writes  [translated from the Chinese by Jeremy Lee]

Trifonov won the International Tchaikovsky Competition in 2011, and two years later, on 5th February, 2013, exactly a month before his 22nd birthday, he reached another milestone in his career:  his Carnegie Hall debut.  Trifonov’s artistic achievement is 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