mon 30/05/2016

Classical music Reviews

Znaider, LSO, Pappano, Barbican

David Nice

Anger and fear in Elgar, introspection in middle-period Beethoven: these are undervalued qualities in each composer’s music. Yet such moods were vividly present in two hyper-nuanced interpretations...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Kenneth Hesketh, Vaughan Williams, Ensemble Pygmalion

Graham Rickson

Kenneth Hesketh: horae (pro clara) Clare Hammond (piano) (BIS)Pianist Clare Hammond writes of Liverpudlian composer Kenneth Hesketh’s ‘fierce intelligence’ in her sleeve notes. He’s not yet a...

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Cédric Tiberghien, Wigmore Hall

Gavin Dixon

This programme looked like a non-starter on paper, a long sequence of short Bartók dance settings, followed by a second half that was dominated by works for children from Bartók and Kurtág. But it...

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Prohaska, Eberle and Friends, Wigmore Hall

Sebastian Scotney

A quick plot summary might be required here, because how this programme of Schubert, Pergolesi and Webern came into being was far from obvious. Two young soloists, one a violinist in her late...

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St Ludmila, Hallé, Elder, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

Robert Beale

The Victorians liked their oratorios long and loud (most of the time), and when Dvořák wrote St Ludmila for the Leeds Festival of 1886 he got the style exactly right. Sir Mark Elder brought his and...

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Ibragimova, BBCSO, Oramo, Barbican

Gavin Dixon

Sakari Oramo devised a bold programme for the final concert of the BBC Symphony Orchestra season: a new work from a young British composer, a popular but knotty violin concerto and an obscure...

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BCMG, Galbreath, Adrian Boult Hall Birmingham

Richard Bratby

So this is the end of the Adrian Boult Hall, due to be demolished in a matter of weeks. And to be honest, all but the most nostalgic of Birmingham concertgoers will find it hard to mourn. It’s no...

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Rysanov, Neary, BBC NOW, Outwater, Hoddinott Hall, Cardiff

Stephen Walsh

Apart from festivals like the BBC Proms that do everything, the best festivals have always been the ones that cut a distinctive profile. They might not offer the best music. Those old French...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Mozart, Vivancos, Rufus Wainwright

Graham Rickson

Mozart: Serenade in B flat major, 'Gran Partita', Royal Academy of Music Soloists Ensemble/Trevor Pinnock (Linn)Mozart's Gran Partita is a multi-movement work longer than many romantic symphonies,...

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Van de Wiel, Philharmonia, Järvi, RFH

Sebastian Scotney

“Choleric humour, pathos and kindliness are mingled in conflict," wrote Robert Simpson of Nielsen’s 1928 Clarinet Concerto. The work was written for a player with a complex character, full of...

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Lill, Moscow State Symphony Orchestra, Kogan, Symphony Hall Birmingham

Richard Bratby

Behemoth Dances. Who dances? You know, Behemoth, the huge demonic black cat who cakewalks through Stalin’s Moscow in Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita spreading mayhem and magic; the spirit – as...

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BBC Young Musician 2016

Jasper Rees

What makes a musical performance? The final of Young Musician 2016 presented five judges with this philosophical teaser to ponder. For the previous 90 minutes three contestants with three radically...

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Stravinsky: Myths & Rituals, Philharmonia, Salonen, RFH

Peter Quantrill

Looking past the ballets for Diaghilev, there are still many superb scores by Stravinsky honoured more in scholarship than performance. In Myths and Rituals, the Philharmonia addresses that lack of...

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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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Classical CDs Weekly: Maurice Greene, Mahler, Stravinsky

Graham Rickson

Maurice Greene: Overtures Baroque Band/Garry Clarke  (Cedille)Maurice Greene. Who? No worries: conductor Garry Clarke's notes fill in all the useful gaps. Greene was a prominent 18th ...

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The Dark Mirror: Zender's Winterreise, Barbican Theatre

Alexandra Coghlan

Elasticity is a surprisingly reliable test for great art. How far can you stretch, bend, or reshape a work before it loses its essence, its identity?  Hamlet, The Well-Tempered Clavier, Antigone...

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Andsnes, LSO, Flor, Barbican

Peter Quantrill

Laid low by a bug, Daniel Harding had to withdraw at the last minute from conducting the LSO last night. Booked as the soloist, Leif Ove Andsnes stepped into the breach to lead Mozart’s Piano...

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Coote, CBSO, Wilson, Symphony Hall Birmingham

Richard Bratby

Can it be true? Was this really the CBSO’s first performance of Bax’s The Garden of Fand? OK, Bax is hardly mainstream repertoire, and if Oramo or Rattle had conducted it, someone would have...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Beethoven, Cindy Cox, Nielsen

Graham Rickson

Beethoven: Symphonies 1-9 Berliner Philharmoniker/Sir Simon Rattle (Berliner Philharmoniker Recordings)Inevitably there's the question of whether anyone needs another modern-instrument cycle of...

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Igor Levit, Wigmore Hall

Sebastian Scotney

Igor Levit’s Wigmore Hall recital was a cerebral affair, consisting mainly of Bach and Busoni with an opener, a Passacaglia by Johann Kaspar Kerll (1627-1693). Levit is a Russian-born pianist who has...

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