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


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Eloquence short reviews, Vol. 2

Jeremy Lee writes

Australian Eloquence, one of the most intelligent reissue labels around, has invaded the Hong Kong market some while ago and my colleague Leonard reviewed 5 releases here.  Following up is this second set of short reviews, from Brahms to…er…Mahler…


This is a reissue of a full-priced London Decca disc with the exact same repertoire released in 1996 which lasted in the catalogue for the amount of time it takes you to read this sentence.  Piano mavens should be happy that Continue reading

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Haitink’s Shostakovich 5 and 9

Jeremy Lee writes

Bernard Haitink’s Shostakovich symphonies, if not placed on a par with Barshai’s and Rostropovich’s, has been generally acclaimed. Nevertheless, listeners curious about Haitink’s way with the symphonies but don’t want to invest in the whole set can purchase most of them individually.  Most readily available is Continue reading

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Bromide Brahms by Sawallisch/LPO

A bored Jeremy Lee writes

Wolfgang Sawallisch’s first Brahms cycle was with the Vienna Symphony on Philips, which has garnered mainly negative reviews.  I’ve yet to hear it, but if this second cycle with the London Philharmonic represents an improvement, I have yet to imagine how awful the first one would be.  This second cycle is 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