sun 24/07/2016

Classical music Reviews

Prom 11: Wilson, Cresswell, BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales, Wigglesworth

David Nice

It's not often you think you detect a future Brünnhilde in a soprano singing a great Verdi role, but that was the case when American Tamara Wilson made her UK debut last autumn as a stunning Leonora...

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Prom 9: Feola, Le Cercle de l'Harmonie, Rhorer

David Nice

It's never easy readjusting to the weird and sometimes wonderful acoustics of Albert's colosseum at Proms time, least of all when the first thing you hear there comes from a period-instrument band....

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Classical CDs Weekly: Bruckner, Mahler, Nielsen, Schnittke

Graham Rickson

Bruckner: Mass No. 3 in F minor Soloists, Bavarian Radio Choir, Bamberg Symphony Orchestra/Robin Ticciati (Tudor)Good Bruckner recordings aren’t just the preserve of elderly conductors. Robin...

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Prom 5: Missa Solemnis, BBCPO, Noseda

Peter Quantrill

Even in a performance as well-organised as this one, masterminded by Gianandrea Noseda, there is still something of the codebook about the Missa solemnis. Its length and scale simultaneously attract...

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Prom 3: Crowe, OAE, Cleobury

Bernard Hughes

It is interesting to note how, in the space of a few short decades, so-called “period instrument” performances of classical music have moved from edgy experimentation to the mainstream of the...

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The Brook Street Band, Wigmore Hall

Alexandra Coghlan

Happy returns of various kinds last night at the Wigmore Hall, where hall regulars the Brook Street Band (violins Rachel Harris and Farran Scott, cellist Tatty Theo and harpsichordist Carolyn Gibley...

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Prom 2: Boris Godunov, Royal Opera, Pappano

Gavin Dixon

The Royal Opera’s Boris Godunov production made the short trip from Covent Garden to South Ken for the company’s appearance at the 2016 Proms. The opera (here in its original 1869 version) is a good...

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Cheltenham Music Festival 2016

Richard Bratby

It’s impossible to get the measure of the Cheltenham Music Festival in just one day. Lasting more than a fortnight, this is the festival that made the running in postwar British music: that helped...

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First Night of the Proms, BBCSO, Oramo, Gabetta, Borodina

Jessica Duchen

The first notes of the first night of the Proms weren’t the ones expected. Instead of either “God Save the Queen” or simply the start of the Tchaikovsky, the “Marseillaise” rang out into the Royal...

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The Creation, Garsington Opera

Alexandra Coghlan

Once confined to the concert hall, it’s a rare oratorio these days that doesn’t duck under the fence and sneak into the opera house. Bach’s Passions and most of Handel’s religious works have already...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Elgar, Haydn, Ligeti, Smaro Gregoriadou

Graham Rickson

Elgar orch. Donald Fraser: Piano Quintet, Sea Pictures English Symphony Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, Rodolfus Choir/Kenneth Woods (Avie)Donald Fraser's orchestration of Elgar's expansive...

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Falstaff, CBSO, Gardner, Symphony Hall Birmingham

Richard Bratby

Edward Gardner gives the downbeat, and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra bursts into Verdi’s great opening guffaw. Enter stage left Graham Clark, as Dr Caius. Enter stage right Ambrogio...

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Lichfield Festival 2016

Richard Bratby

You know, of course, why you should always choose the left leg of a roast partridge? Because that’s the leg the bird stands on when resting: it’s plumper, tastier and altogether more succulent. These...

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Classical CDs Weekly: MacMillan, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Tchaikovsky

Graham Rickson

James MacMillan: Since it was the day of Preparation Hebrides Ensemble/William Conway, with Brindley Sherratt (bass), Synergy Vocals (Delphian)A follow-up to James MacMillan's St John Passion, Since...

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East Neuk Festival 2016

David Nice

All the best festivals develop organically, with a guiding hand from the best directors. When I first came to the East Neuk Festival two years ago, on its 10th anniversary, it was already a special...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Scriabin, Stockhausen, Choir of King's College Aberdeen, Radek Baborák

Graham Rickson

Scriabin and Stockhausen: Light Vanessa Benelli Mosell (Decca)Scriabin and Stockhausen are both associated with excess, so it's pleasing to report that Vanessa Benelli Mosell's second Decca disc goes...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Aukai, Mahler, Shostakovich

Graham Rickson

Aukai Markus Seiber (Aukai Music)In a week where there’s been rather too much news to get one’s head round, a spot of ambient calm is very appealing. Aukai is the pseudonym of German guitarist and ‘...

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Hallé Children’s Choir and Orchestra, Elder, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

Robert Beale

’Tis the season for big children’s choirs to show off their end-of-season projects, and the Hallé Children’s Choir and Orchestra had something exceptional to present under Sir Mark Elder’s baton on...

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Catalogue d'Oiseaux, Aimard, Aldeburgh Festival

David Nice

"He is one of the few pianists who will not make them sound like angry birds," said young pianist-animateur Víkingur Ólafsson in Reykjavík when I told him that in little over 24 hours' time I'd be...

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Murray Perahia, Barbican

Sebastian Scotney

A couple of hours of certainty really were very welcome during referendum week, and Murray Perahia did indeed bring clarity, poise, and an unquestioned masterpiece – Beethoven's Hammerklavier...

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