thu 28/05/2015

Classical music Reviews

Ehnes, Armstrong, Wigmore Hall

David Nice

Violinists either fathom the elusive heart and soul of Elgar’s music or miss the mark completely. Canadian James Ehnes, one of the most cultured soloists on the scene today, is the only one I’ve...

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Tetzlaff, LSO, Harding, Barbican

Alexandra Coghlan

With Kavakos, Faust, Shaham and Skride already been and gone, and Jansen, Ehnes, Bell and Ibragimova still to come, the LSO’s International Violin Festival has nothing left to prove. We’re not short...

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Kozhukhin, BBCSO, Oramo, Barbican

David Nice

No two symphonic swansongs could be more different than Sibelius’s heart-of-darkness Tapiola and Nielsen’s enigmatically joky Sixth Symphony. In its evasive yet organic jumpiness, the Danish composer...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Bach, Shostakovich, Henrik Schwarz

Graham Rickson

Bach: Brandenburg Concertos Florilegium, dir. Ashley Solomon (Channel Classics)This is a predictably satisfying pair of discs, another outstanding set of period-instrument Brandenburgs from a crack...

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Leçons de Ténèbres, Devine, St John's Smith Square

Sebastian Scotney

This penultimate night of the London (formally Lufthansa) Festival of Baroque Music brought beautiful, intelligent, superbly musical singing from two sopranos Julia Doyle and Grace Davidson, who sang...

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The Creation, SCO, Christophers, Usher Hall, Edinburgh

Christopher Lambton

For the Scottish Chamber Orchestra the transition from its home in the Queen’s Hall to the much larger spaces of Usher Hall is not always a happy one. Earlier this season an experimental performance...

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Connolly, West, BBCSO, Davis, Barbican

Peter Quantrill

From the strings’ first entry, sweet and mysterious, conveying at once the erotic charge between Berlioz's Dido and Aeneas, its long-suppressed unfolding and also its transience, the BBC Symphony...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Messiaen, The Knights, Jim Rattigan

Graham Rickson

Messiaen: Des canyons aux étoiles London Philharmonic Orchestra/Christoph Eschenbach (LPO)Olivier Messiaen's Turangalîla-Symphonie is almost a repertoire work, but performances of Des canyons aux...

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Tawadros, AAM, Tognetti, Milton Court

David Nice

Fusion between Christian Venice and the Ottoman east started up at least as early as the 15th century, accompanied by a superb portrait of Sultan Mehmet II attributed to Gentile Bellini (pictured...

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Betrayal, I Fagiolini, The Village Underground

Alexandra Coghlan

It’s not often in classical music that you find yourself queuing under a railway bridge in Shoreditch at 9pm (and still less often that the artistic experience inside merits the endeavour). But get...

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Yevgeny Sudbin, QEH

David Nice

Mahler once wrote that his symphonies were edifices built from the same stones, gathered in childhood. In each of the four recitals I’ve heard from Yevgeny Sudbin, he’s moved several of his...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Brahms, Schubert, Sibelius, Wagner

Graham Rickson

Brahms: Complete Waltzes for Four Hands Fiametta Tarli & Ivo Varbanov (ICSM Records)49 waltzes in 56 minutes? Er, yes please, if they’re this good. These ones are by Brahms, a composer who wrote...

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Röschmann, Uchida, Wigmore Hall

David Nice

If you were one of the world’s most famous pianists, you’d surely want to explore the masterpieces among Lieder with the great singers. Having chosen less than wisely for Schubert, as some of us...

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Antonacci, ROHO, Pappano, Royal Opera House

David Nice

Few conductors would think of putting Bernstein’s comic-sexy Fancy Free ballet and the orgasmatron of Scriabin’s The Poem of Ecstasy together in a concert's second half. In fact I’ll wager, without...

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Hannigan, Britten Sinfonia, WRCH Cambridge

Sebastian Scotney

“Songs of Vienna” by the Britten Sinfonia turned out to be a concert of chamber works, with never more than six performers on the stage at any time. It was built around two appearances by the...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Lutosławski, Szymanowski, Jórunn Viðar, The Revolutionary Drawing Room

Graham Rickson

Lutosławski: Concerto for Orchestra, Szymanowski: Three Fragments from Poems by Jan Kasprowicz Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra/Alexander Liebreich, with Ewa Podleś (contralto) (Accentus...

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SCO, Swensen, Queen's Hall, Edinburgh

Christopher Lambton

It was as a violin soloist with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra that Joseph Swensen first appeared, in the mid-1980s, on the Scottish musical scene. He went on to become the orchestra’s principal...

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Grivnov, LPO, Jurowski, RFH

David Nice

Deep pain and sadness expressed through intense creative discipline aren’t qualities noted often enough in the music of Sergey Rachmaninov. Yet they’ve been consistently underlined, with rigour to...

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Ensemble InterContemporain, Pintscher, Barbican

Peter Quantrill

Be a soloist: take responsibility for yourself. These are not maxims often encountered in musical ensembles where unity of purpose and execution is valued, but they lie behind the philosophy and...

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Stephen Hough, RFH

Jessica Duchen

It took just two bars of Debussy's La plus que lente for Stephen Hough to transport the entire Royal Festival Hall to Paris. The nearest thing the French composer ever wrote to a café waltz –...

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