thu 29/09/2016

Classical music Features

First Person: Steven Isserlis on Schumann's advice to the young

Steven Isserlis

All musicians have particular musical passions, composers, styles or genres to which they are irresistibly drawn. I have many – almost too many at times; but among the most enduring is my love for...

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Lammermuir Festival 2016, East Lothian

David Kettle

It’s just a short trip down the A1 from Edinburgh. But East Lothian – with its big skies, wide-open spaces, empty beaches and seemingly inexhaustable supply of quaint, historic villages – feels like...

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theartsdesk at the D-Marin Festival: Turkish poetry in music, Bach at sunrise

David Nice

Istanbul six weeks before the failed coup, the south-west coast of Turkey six weeks after: what's the difference? None that I could see; once past the Turkish Airlines flights, with literature and...

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theartsdesk at the Rosendal Festival: Schubert above a fjord

David Nice

More than just a great and serious pianist, Leif Ove Andsnes is a Mensch. His special gift in recent years has been to bring young musicians just establishing their careers together with star players...

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Edinburgh Festival: Boulez celebration, Andreas Ottensamer, Stephen Hough

David Kettle

Remarkably, Pierre Boulez made his first appearance at the Edinburgh International Festival way back in 1948, at only the Festival’s second ever outing, in charge of music for director Jean-Louis...

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theartsdesk at the Pärnu Music Festival 2016

David Nice

Where would you go to hear the most electrifying and collegial orchestral playing in the world? It used to be Lucerne while Claudio Abbado was alive. Now that the Lucerne Festival Orchestra has...

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Pick of the BBC Proms 2016

theartsdesk

"Refreshingly traditional" is how one of our writers describes this year's BBC Proms programme. Alarmingly unadventurous might be another way of putting it, though only in comparison with many of the...

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First Person: the Herbert Howells Cello Concerto completed

Guy Johnston

In June 2014, I was invited to the late Sir John Tavener’s Memorial Service in Westminster Abbey. It was a poignant occasion, marked by a number of special tributes and performances. ...

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theartsdesk in Reykjavík: Nocturnes for Midsummer

David Nice

After a grey start, there was a spectacular sunset around midnight on the second of my two days in Reykjavik. It's what brings one of Iceland's most brilliant younger-generation talents, pianist...

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theartsdesk at the Istanbul Music Festival: classics alla Turca

David Nice

Flashback to 1981, when the Bolshoy Ballet danced Swan Lake Act Two to a tinny Melodiya recording in Istanbul's Open-Air Theatre (seats were cheap for Interrailing students). Turkey was friends with...

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theartsdesk in Prague: Czech Spring with Smetana and Martinů

David Nice

On the itinerary of musical tourists around Europe, the opening of the Prague Spring Festival comes a close third to the Vienna Philharmonic’s New Year's Day Concert and the Bayreuth experience. That...

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Is Wales really the land of song?

Professor Gareth ...

Culture, said Aneurin Bevan, comes off the end of a pick. A hundred years ago there was no shortage of picks when a quarter of a million coalminers were employed in south Wales. By now the mines have...

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theartsdesk in Warsaw: Moniuszko Vocal Competition 2016

Gavin Dixon

We don’t hear much about composer Stanisław Moniuszko in the West, but in Poland he’s considered a key figure in the history of opera. Moniuszko’s statue stands at the entrance of the National Opera...

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theartsdesk in Göttingen: HandelFest 2016

David Nice

What Auden called "the sexy airs of summer" arrived early in Göttingen this year. Frog action in the Botanical Gardens of the town's pioneering University may have been less clamorous than when I...

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theartsdesk at Tectonics Glasgow 2016

David Kettle

For a festival of wild, genre-colliding musical experimentation, Tectonics is almost starting to feel like part of the establishment. Which shows, if nothing else, that it must be getting somewhere...

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theartsdesk in Tallinn: Estonian Music Days

David Nice

A young nation with a small population and the most untarnished democratic credentials in Europe today can do certain things with festivals not so easy to imagine here. When Estonian Music Days,...

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Sir Peter Maxwell Davies (1934-2016) - 'Music for anyone and everyone'

Peter Quantrill

With the death of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies from leukaemia at the age of 81, the UK has lost the most prolific composer of his generation, as well as one of the most passionate advocates for art music...

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Remembering Nikolaus Harnoncourt (1929-2016)

Marshall Marcus

2016 began with the passing of Pierre Boulez, arguably the doyen of modernism in the field of classical music. Now, only a couple of months later, it is the turn of Nikolaus Harnoncourt, a musician...

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theartsdesk in Oslo: Vasily Petrenko, the Leningrad Dynamo, comes to town

Adam Sweeting

I've never thought of myself as a Shostakovich fan, tending to regard what I know of his output as bleak and forbidding. Photographs of the stone-faced composer with the mortuary attendant's...

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White smoke at the CBSO: Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla for Music Director

Richard Bratby

The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra's appointment of the Lithuanian conductor Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla as its new Music Director won’t have surprised many concertgoers in Birmingham – or indeed...

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