thu 18/01/2018

Classical Reviews

Alexander Melnikov, Wigmore Hall review - three pianos, four monsterworks

david Nice

Living-museum recitals on a variety of historic instruments pose logistical problems. Telling The Arts Desk about his award-nominated CD of mostly 19th-century works for horns and pianos, Alec Frank-Gemmill remarked on the near-impossibility of reproducing the experiment in the concert-hall: playing on four period horns would need several intervals, and colleague Alasdair Beatson would hardly be likely to have the four pianos in the same room.

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Feng, CBSO, Gražinytė-Tyla, Symphony Hall Birmingham review - pulling it out of the hat

Richard Bratby

Say what you like about Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla’s partnership with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra – and plenty has already been written – but sometimes the facts speak for themselves. At the end of this midweek matinee concert, an audience that had presumably been lured by the promise of Haydn and Max Bruch exploded in laughter and cheers at the end of a piece by György Ligeti.

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Lortie, BBC Philharmonic, Gardner, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review – whipping up a storm

Robert Beale

Edward Gardner was back on familiar ground when he conducted in Manchester last night – his high-profile career began when he was appointed as the Hallé’s first-ever assistant conductor, early in Sir Mark Elder’s era – and his rapport with young audiences and ability to command his players has certainly not diminished.

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Kožená, LSO, Rattle, Barbican Hall review – springing surprises from Schubert and Rameau

Peter Quantrill

Cheers and huzzahs greeted the arrival of Sir Simon Rattle on the Barbican stage last night before the London Symphony Orchestra had even played a note. The 10-day festivities to open his tenure as principal conductor evidently worked a treat. The hall was full for a lengthy and – on the surface of it – unlikely splicing of Austrian Romantic angst with Baroque arias and dance.

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Komsi, BBCSO, Oramo, Barbican Hall review - Sibelius series ends in glory

david Nice

Twelfth Night, Epiphany, call it what you will, is one reminder that there's continuity after the turn of the year.

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Breaking the Rules, LSO St Luke's review – music and murder with Gesualdo

Jessica Duchen

The “concert drama” is on the up, offering audiences a mingled-genre means to experience music and its context simultaneously.

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National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, Elder, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review – maturity from teenage players

Robert Beale

Seventy years old and still imbued with youthful flair and enthusiasm – that’s the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, which pioneered new territory in its first concert of 2018 last night. The flair and enthusiasm also apply to Sir Mark Elder, who conducted the event.

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Ivana Gavrić, Wigmore Hall review - more earth than air

david Nice

Power and intelligence combined make Sarajevo-born British pianist Ivana Gavrić stand out from the crowd. Bass lines are clear and strong; right-hand melodies move in keenly articulated song.

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Joyce DiDonato and Brentano Quartet, Wigmore Hall - not enough variety

Sebastian Scotney

Even for a singer as driven, communicative and self-reliant as Joyce DiDonato, the song recital with string quartet is a bold step. Whereas an endless repertoire of songs with piano exists, there is virtually nothing off-the-peg for singer and string quartet; it is a case of commissioning the arrangements, and to some extent building your own art form.

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Christmas Oratorio, LPO, Jurowski, RFH review - right piece, wrong place

Peter Quantrill

Just when you can scarcely move for Messiahs, two Christmas Oratorios came along at once on Saturday night. That’s London concert schedules for you.

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