sun 26/02/2017

Classical Reviews

Mirjam Mesak, Kristiina Rokashevich, St Bartholomew the Great

david Nice

Treasure our young continental European musicians in London while you can. Only last week I learned that so many of the overseas students at London's Guildhall School had stories to tell about being questioned in public (usually "are you Polish?" with the negative ramifications that implied).

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Juan Diego Flórez, Vincenzo Scalera, Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Richard Bratby

“Who says Mozart is not like Rossini?” remarked Juan Diego Flórez, about a quarter of an hour into his debut recital at Symphony Hall.

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Aimard, Philharmonia, Salonen, RFH

Gavin Dixon

A new work by Igor Stravinsky is always going to be a major event, so Sunday evening’s UK premiere of his rediscovered Funeral Song was hotly anticipated.

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Isabelle Faust, Alexander Melnikov, Wigmore Hall

david Nice

Polish composer Szymanowski's Ovid triptych Mythes achieved something like cult status thanks to an iridescent recording. Everyone knew the pianist, the great Krystian Zimerman; the violinist, Kaja Danczowska, less so (where is she now?).

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Kaufmann, Mattila, LSO, Pappano, Barbican

Peter Quantrill

Jonas Kaufmann’s legion of admirers could rest content. A well-received Lieder evening last week demonstrated that the world’s hottest tenor property had returned, both to London for a three-concert residency at the Barbican, and indeed to singing after burst blood vessels had forced several months of rest and cancelled concerts.

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Grosvenor, BBCPO, Gernon, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

Robert Beale

Two young guys called Ben graced the BBC Philharmonic platform at the Bridgewater Hall – looking almost like Ant and Dec if you let your imagination wander. Ben Gernon, 27, had just been announced as the orchestra’s new Principal Guest Conductor (while predecessor John Storgårds now rejoices in the title of Chief Guest Conductor … it almost seems a bout of alternative facts is coming on), and this was his Bridgewater Hall début.

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theartsdesk in Rome: Bartoli and Pappano on home turf

Peter Quantrill

Wherever you are in the world, opportunities to see Cecilia Bartoli perform are hard to come by. A one-off chance to see her sing Mozart in Rome was not to be missed. This was a rare homecoming for Bartoli. Born in Rome, she studied at the city’s Conservatorio di Santa Cecilia where many members of the orchestra teach.

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Widmann, BBCSO, Oramo, Barbican

Gavin Dixon

The BBC Symphony Orchestra has continued its long-standing support of British contemporary music with this première of a new commission, Michael Zev Gordon’s Violin Concerto for violinist...

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Mitsuko Uchida, Royal Festival Hall

Gavin Dixon

Mitsuko Uchida specialises in elegant, if uncontroversial, interpretations of core Austro-German repertoire, yet she’s never predictable, and every performance is full of unexpected insights and welcome surprises.

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Argerich, St Petersburg PO, Temirkanov, RFH

Gavin Dixon

Yuri Temirkanov chose a shamelessly populist programme for the London leg of the St Petersburg Philharmonic tour. But Khachaturian, Prokofiev and Shostakovich are core repertoire for this orchestra, and ideal for showing off its many strengths.

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