mon 22/09/2014

Classical music Reviews

Benedetti, Manchester Camerata, Takács-Nagy, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

Philip Radcliffe

Having been put to the fiddle at the age of five, Nicola Benedetti appreciates the value of making music at an early age. She is fiercely committed to music education and developing new talent. So it...

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Last Night of the Proms, Jansen, Williams, BBCSO, Oramo

Sebastian Scotney

If only the Last Night of the Proms could just be about the music. If it were, then the story which I would want to tell would be about Janine Jansen. A crowd which mainly turns up to wave its vast...

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Prom 75: Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Gilbert

Alexandra Coghlan

The silliness of the Last Night is really just a postscript to the penultimate night of the Proms, traditionally given over to a performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. It was a tradition restored...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Elgar, Fuzzy, James Rhodes

Graham Rickson

 Elgar: Symphony no 1, Cockaigne Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra/Sakari Oramo (BIS)No one says there's anything unusual about an orchestra in Liverpool recording Shostakovich, or a...

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Prom 74: Wainwright, Voigt, Britten Sinfonia, Debus

David Nice

Swathes of this year’s final Late Night Prom were so invertebrate, amateurish even, that I was tempted to go home and throw out my Want One and Want Two CDs. I won’t, of course: Canadian American...

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Prom 72: Berthaud, BBCSO, Litton

Alexandra Coghlan

A Prom billed as “English Music” sounds like a restful sort of affair – probably pastoral, definitely tuneful and potentially restorative after a day in the office. In practice however this concert...

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Prom 71: Time for Three, BBC Concert Orchestra, Lockhart

Matthew Wright

Aaron Copland was an unlikely musical portraitist of the American plains and prairies. Son of Jewish immigrants from Brooklyn and student of modernism with Nadia Boulanger in Paris, he nonetheless...

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Prom 69: Cleveland Orchestra, Welser-Möst

Geoff Brown

Is there something about the start of a new cultural season, or indeed the Proms, that make classical music’s conductors rush to jump ship? Consider this. Last Friday, two days before his pair of...

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Prom 66: St Matthew Passion, Berlin Philharmonic, Rattle

Alexandra Coghlan

Peter Sellars’ work used to be about making a statement. He would dislocate texts from contexts, subvert musical suggestion and ignore written statement for the sheer joy of the artistic friction it...

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A Season at the Juilliard School, Sky Arts 2

David Nice

“You feel like you’re walking into Fame, the movie,“ says one of three third-year drama students towards the beginning of this six-part documentary. That’s what we might have hoped of what, at least...

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DiDonato, Pappano, Wigmore Hall

Sebastian Scotney

For the first night of its 114th season, the dear old Wiggy welcomed back its regulars after the summer break. A starry occasion like this recital by Joyce DiDonato and Sir Antonio Pappano gets...

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Prom 64: Berlin Philharmonic, Rattle

David Nice

After Monday’s Respighi extravaganza at the Proms, it was back on the rainbow express for more wonders of orchestral colour last night. In the young Stravinsky’s large-scale signing-in and poor...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Grieg, Mahler, Choir of Gonville & Caius College

Graham Rickson

 Grieg: Holberg Variations 1B1/Jan Bjøranger, Christian Ihle Hadland (piano), Erlend Skomsvoll (piano) (Simax)This release has a nifty title, and contains three different performances of Grieg's...

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Façade/Eight Songs for a Mad King, Grimeborn Opera, Arcola Theatre

Bernard Hughes

Walton’s Façade is not performed very often in London, but this weekend there is the opportunity to hear it four days in a row: on Monday at a chamber Prom, but before that in this enterprising...

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Prom 63: McAllister, BBCSO, Alsop

Matthew Wright

Conductor Marin Alsop was welcomed like Britannia herself at last night’s concert, an astute partnership of John Adams’ vivacious hybridism and Gustav Mahler’s colourful patchwork quilt of a symphony...

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Proms Chamber Music 7: Benjamin Grosvenor/Prom 60: Driver, RPO, Dutoit

David Nice

After the enervating excesses of Salome and Elektra at the weekend, the abundance of notes at the Proms continued in a piano recital and an orchestral showstopper, but this time with built-in air...

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BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Volkov, Usher Hall, Edinburgh

Christopher Lambton

It is the fate of Edinburgh Festival directors to programme their music in the considerable shadow cast by the Proms in London. The undeniable economics of large scale touring means that few...

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Prom 53: Brahms Symphonies, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Fischer

Jessica Duchen

About 10 minutes into the Brahms Third Symphony I wanted to check a name in the Budapest Festival Orchestra’s programme. I dared to turn a page. Bad idea. Such preternatural stillness had settled...

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Prom 52: Budapest Festival Orchestra, Fischer

Sebastian Scotney

The first of this year's two Proms by the Budapest Festival Orchestra had looked like a rather strange confection, on paper at least. With eleven scheduled contributions, and only two of them...

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Prom 50: Weilerstein, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Bělohlávek

Edward Seckerson

Even as orchestras began to sound more and more alike, there was the Czech Philharmonic. And many of its notable characteristics remain to this day: a modest, homespun quality, warm and engaging and...

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