fri 06/03/2015

Classical music Reviews

Donohoe, BBCSSO, Prieto, City Halls, Glasgow

David Nice

Shock and Shakespeare were the two forces that powered a typically thoughtful programme from the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. I said as much in a pre-performance talk where the links weren’t hard...

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BBCSO, Segerstam, Barbican

Peter Quantrill

The BBC Radio 3 announcer came on stage to introduce the concert and promised us "the 100 minutes" of Bruckner’s Eighth Symphony in the second half. Some of us smiled and assumed he (or his...

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Benedetti, La Cetra, Saffron Hall

Sebastian Scotney

There's a whole fairytale backstory to be told here. The residents of Saffron Walden and the surrounding area still can't quite believe their good fortune. The North Essex town and its state...

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Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, CBSO Centre, Birmingham

Stephen Walsh

You might imagine that composers in general would write songs. On my way to the BCMG’s programme of pieces from the songbook assembled by John Woolrich and Mary Wiegold for the Composers’ Ensemble 30...

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Hardenberger, Philharmonia, Nelsons, RFH

Gavin Dixon

Even by trumpeters’ standards, Håkan Hardenberger is a flamboyant figure. He sports a sharp, tailored suit and a wing-collared shirt, and his stage presence is all swagger and pomp. HK Gruber has...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Monteverdi, Vaughan Williams, Simon Desbruslais

Graham Rickson

 Monteverdi: Vespers of 1610 The Sixteen/Harry Christophers (Coro)The first few minutes of Monteverdi's Vespers are a knockout. Rarely has one sustained chord been so fruitfully deployed, and...

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Von Otter, BBCSO, Oramo, Barbican

David Nice

Hair-raising guaranteed or your money back: that might have been a publicity gambit, had there been one, for Sakari Oramo’s latest journey with the BBC Symphony Orchestra around a Nielsen symphony....

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Kožena, Royal, Berliner Philharmoniker, Rattle, RFH

Jessica Duchen

It’s all over: the final note of the Berliner Philharmoniker’s London Residency, for which many music-lovers bought tickets about a year ago, has risen into the ether, leaving most questions...

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Philharmonic Octet Berlin, Queen Elizabeth Hall

David Nice

Even in a big orchestral concert, you’re bound to note Berlin Philharmonic principals as among the best instrumentalists in the world. I cited five in the central instalment of Simon Rattle’s...

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Orpen, Françoise-Green Piano Duo, Aurora Orchestra, Kings Place

Geoff Brown

Teetering on the edge of a Steve Reich weekend, Friday’s concert in the Minimalism Unwrapped series at Kings Place gave us a very mixed grill called “Pulses: Steve Reich and his Influences”. In the...

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Becker, RLPO, Ang, Liverpool Philharmonic Hall

Glyn Môn Hughes

While there is, of course, safety in numbers, but five premieres on four continents is, perhaps, a little novel. Tan Dun’s new Concerto for Double-Bass, subtitled Wolf Totem, is a co-commission by...

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Sibelius Cycle 3, Berliner Philharmoniker, Rattle, Barbican

Peter Quantrill

The Seventh Symphony was by some way the most scrappy and inaccurate of the performances in the Sibelius cycle given at the Barbican by, it must be said again, the world’s best orchestra. The oboes...

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Alexander Ivashkin Memorial Concert, Queen Elizabeth Hall

Gavin Dixon

A memorial concert to a busy man. Alexander Ivashkin, who died last January, was a cellist, a scholar, a teacher, an authority on Russian music, and much else besides. This evening’s concert faced up...

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Hannigan, Uchida, Philharmonia, Salonen, Royal Festival Hall

Sebastian Scotney

While the Berlin Philharmonic's progress through London with Simon Rattle has grabbed the column inches away from the rest of the capital's classical music offerings this week, a delightful mostly...

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Sibelius Cycle 2, Kavakos, Berliner Philharmoniker, Rattle, Barbican

David Nice

Bass lines were Edward Seckerson’s starting point yesterday in welcoming the Berlin Sibelius cycle to London, and none strikes more terror from the depths than the subterranean growl that launches...

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Sibelius Cycle 1, Berliner Philharmoniker, Rattle, Barbican

Edward Seckerson

Simon Rattle’s Sibelian journey has been long and fruitful and has taken him all the way from Birmingham to Berlin, and more particularly the revered Philharmonic where the spaces between the notes...

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Lewis, Philharmonia, Nelsons, Royal Festival Hall

Gavin Dixon

Andris Nelsons is flavour of the month in London. He is in town to conduct The Flying Dutchman at Covent Garden, but between performances he is moonlighting at the Festival Hall, giving two concerts...

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Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Chorus and Orchestra, Scapucci, Liverpool Philharmonic Hall

Glyn Môn Hughes

The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic has something of a track record when it comes to finding conductors destined for great heights. After all, Sir Simon Rattle was a player in Merseyside Youth Orchestra...

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Bondarenko, LPO, Jurowski, Royal Festival Hall

Geoff Brown

The concert season’s title may be Rachmaninoff Inside Out. But the work that dominated and got people talking in yesterday’s instalment of Vladimir Jurowski’s London Philharmonic series was by...

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Carducci String Quartet, St George's Hall Concert Room, Liverpool

Glyn Môn Hughes

When you’re visiting someone for the first time, it’s probably just as well that you make a good impression – or else you may not be asked back. If that’s what the Carducci String Quartet was trying...

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