sat 24/06/2017

Classical Reviews

Ensemble InterContemporain, Wigmore Hall

Gavin Dixon

The Paris-based Ensemble InterContemporain brought a wide-ranging programme to the Wigmore Hall.

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Kuusisto, London Chamber Orchestra, Ashkenazy, Cadogan Hall

david Nice

Tears were likely to flow freely on this most beautiful and terrible of June evenings, especially given a programme – dedicated by Vladimir Ashkenazy to the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire – already prone to the elegiac.

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Britten Sinfonia, Adès, Barbican

Gavin Dixon

Thomas Adès and the Britten Sinfonia here reached the most revolutionary works in their twin portrait season of Gerald Barry and Beethoven: Barry’s Chevaux-de-frise and Beethoven’s "Eroica".

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Gurrelieder, Hallé, BBCPO, Elder, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

Robert Beale

It may not have had the symbolism of the Ariana Grande concert just down the road, but in its own way the joint Hallé/BBC Philharmonic performance of Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder said as much about Manchester as the rock jamboree did.

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Evgeny Kissin: Memoirs and Reflections review - Russian education, European conviction, Jewish heritage

david Nice

"Generally speaking," writes Evgeny Kissin in one of the many generous tributes to those whose artistry he most admires, "the mastery of [Carlo Maria] Giulini is exactly what is dearest of all to me in art: simplicity, depth and spirituality". The same is true of the personality revealed in this slim but by no means undernourishing volume from one of our time's most fascinating pianists.

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Little, CBSO, Seal, Symphony Hall Birmingham

Richard Bratby

The CBSO is justifiably proud of its association with Benjamin Britten. There’s rather less proof that he reciprocated, dismissing the orchestra as "second-rate" after it premiered his War Requiem in 1962.

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Richard Goode, Royal Festival Hall

Jessica Duchen

How to change the way we hear Chopin and Beethoven: play Bach first.

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Britten Sinfonia, Adès, Milton Court

Gavin Dixon

Thomas Adès and the Britten Sinfonia are embarking on a three-year project, coupling the symphonies of Beethoven with works by contemporary Irish composer Gerald Barry. Adès is keen to highlight the radical vision of the two composers, so expect stark juxtapositions and uncompromising readings.

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LSO, Haitink, Barbican

Gavin Dixon

Bernard Haitink is one of the great Bruckner conductors of our time. His interpretations are expansive yet vivid and always go straight to the heart of the music. But he is also an old man, and physical frailty is increasingly inhibiting his work, reducing the spontaneity of his communication with the orchestra. The results are both frustrating and inspiring, with details lost and clarity of texture often compromised.

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Sebestyén, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Fischer, RFH

Sebastian Scotney

This was a very fine concert indeed, plus a lot more. The first half was a very carefully planned series of unveilings around the theme of Béla Bartók and Hungarian folk music, the second an overwhelming performance of his Duke Bluebeard’s Castle.

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