sat 25/04/2015

Classical music Reviews

Classical CDs Weekly: Arnold, Brahms, Bruch, Hartmann

Graham Rickson

 Malcolm Arnold: Symphonies 1-9 London Symphony Orchestra/Richard Hickox, BBC Philharmonic/Rumon Gamba (Chandos)Malcolm Arnold's lasting reputation as a chameleonic comedian endures, though his...

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LSO, Eötvös, Barbican

Peter Quantrill

Time was when a Boulez concert with the LSO would have been directed by the man himself, but that is no longer possible. In Peter Eötvös they have the next best thing, a conductor who has known the...

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Three Tales, Ensemble BPM, IMAX Science Museum

David Nice

Poised vibrantly enough between the buried-alive monotony of Philip Glass and the dynamic flights of John Adams, Steve Reich’s Three Tales deserves a special place in music-theatre history ("opera"...

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Batiashvili, Staatskapelle Berlin, Barenboim, RFH

Gavin Dixon

Gasps of surprise were heard across the country last month, when Richard Morrison on BBC Radio 3's "Building a Library" announced Daniel Barenboim and the Staatskapelle Berlin as his library choice...

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Argerich, Staatskapelle Berlin, Barenboim, RFH

David Nice

It looked like a potential misalliance between performers used to looking at the stars and a programme of earthly, ideally rather broadly humorous delights. In the event, Martha Argerich, who can...

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Handel Singing Competition Final, St George's Hanover Square

Alexandra Coghlan

You only have to look down the list of recent winners of the Handel Singing Competition – Andrew Kennedy, Elizabeth Atherton, Ruby Hughes, Sophie Junker – to see its pedigree, its knack for spotting...

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Špaček, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Bělohlávek, Leeds Town Hall

Graham Rickson

You’ve booked the iconic Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and their charismatic chief conductor Jiří Bělohlávek to do a whistle-stop UK tour. Hoorah. But what do you get them to play? The mind boggles...

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Classical CDs Weekly: CPE Bach, Busoni, Vivaldi

Graham Rickson

 CPE Bach: Symphonies Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment/Rebecca Miller (Signum)Think of musical perfection and you think of JS Bach. Every note perfectly placed, every harmonic sequence...

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DiDonato, NYPO, Gilbert, Barbican

Gavin Dixon

Visits by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra are always an adrenaline boost for musical life in London, and yesterday evening was no exception. The first concert in their brief residency took in...

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DiDonato, Heggie, Brentano Quartet, Milton Court

Alexandra Coghlan

“I need to get a new gimmick.” Joyce DiDonato hobbled her way onto Milton Court’s stage last night, warning her audience to expect a seated performance owing to a sprained ankle. It was just six...

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NYO, Volkov, RFH

Geoff Brown

Considering the possibilities, we got off lightly when the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, always fearless in the face of the outrageous, performed Percy Grainger’s “music for an imaginary...

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Toradze, BBCSO, Oramo, Barbican

David Nice

It was melody versus the machine last night as Sakari Oramo’s six voyages around the Nielsen symphonies with the BBC Symphony Orchestra hit the high noon of the 1920s. The fallout from the First...

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MacMillan's St Luke Passion, King's College Chapel

Hanna Weibye

The St Luke Passion I heard last night was my second sung Passion of the day. The first was in a parish church as a central part of the liturgy of the day on Good Friday: nothing too fancy, as befits...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Barber, Britten, Ensemble Diderot, Jake Schepps

Graham Rickson

 Britten & Barber: Piano Concertos Elizabeth Joy Roe (piano), London Symphony Orchestra/Emil Tabakov (Decca)For years, the only available recording of Britten's Piano Concerto was the one...

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St Matthew Passion, Anton Bruckner Choir, St John's Smith Square

Alexandra Coghlan

After a Messiah last Christmas by one of London’s finest professional chamber choirs that was straight off the factory production line – mindlessly and maddeningly correct, just, I suspect, as it had...

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Mikhail Rudy, Kings Place

Peter Quantrill

Opening It’s All About Piano!, a short but packed festival shared between Kings Place and the Institut français in Kensington, Mikhail Rudy made a rare appearance in the UK. The premise was unusual...

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Bronfman, LPO, Jurowski, RFH

David Nice

Over the past two Saturdays, Vladimir Jurowski and a London Philharmonic on top form have given us a mini-festival of great scores for Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes. The hallucinogenic vision of ancient...

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Total Immersion: Boulez at 90, Barbican

Gavin Dixon

Pierre Boulez sits in the back of a car as it drives across Westminster Bridge. He is talking about the audience appeal of his music, and he is characteristically direct. If the performance is good,...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Ruperto Chapí, Rossini, Walton

Graham Rickson

 Ruperto Chapí: String Quartets 1 and 2 Cuarteto Latinoamericano (Sono Luminus)Think string quartet and you tend to think Beethoven, Haydn, Mozart. Maybe Bartók and Shostakovich. But generally...

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Josefowicz, Novacek, Wigmore Hall

Sebastian Scotney

Who knew that the wisdom of crowds could be quite so fickle or so fallible? This superb recital by the American violinist Leila Josefowicz and pianist John Novacek was played in front of a Wigmore...

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