mon 29/08/2016

Classical music Reviews

Edinburgh Festival 2016: Così fan tutte, Pekka Kuusisto, Gurrelieder

David Kettle

It began with opera – Cecilia Bartoli’s pretty much universally adored Norma from Salzburg. And the Edinburgh International Festival ended with opera, too – Mozart’s Così fan tutte, in a co-...

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Prom 55: Hannigan, CBSO, Gražinytė-Tyla

Alexandra Coghlan

If ever there was a Prom to put London’s classical crowd in their place, to remind us (as those outside the capital so frequently and justifiably do) that the city isn’t the be-all and end-all of...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Beethoven, Shostakovich, Tommy Smith

Graham Rickson

Beethoven: Symphonies 5-8 Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra/Lan Shui (Orchid)Lively speeds which never sound hurried. Sparky, well-articulated playing, the period brass adding a distinctive colour....

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Prom 48: Weilerstein, BBC Scottish SO, Pintscher

Peter Quantrill

If you go down to the woods today, to be sure of a big surprise is a contradiction in terms, but this pair of sylvan adventures by Matthias Pintscher and Mendelssohn was another example of the...

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Proms at...Roundhouse: London Sinfonietta, Gourlay

Helen Wallace

Some enchanted afternoon in Camden Town… the Proms returned to the Roundhouse after four decades with a dreamlike fusion of sound, space and light. Ron Arad’s Curtain Call – a 360° installation of 5,...

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Edinburgh Festival: Boulez celebration, Andreas Ottensamer, Stephen Hough

David Kettle

Remarkably, Pierre Boulez made his first appearance at the Edinburgh International Festival way back in 1948, at only the Festival’s second ever outing, in charge of music for director Jean-Louis...

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Prom 43: Argerich, West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, Barenboim

David Nice

It's not so long since Daniel Barenboim sat around a table with Israeli officials telling him that Wagner couldn't be played in the homeland when someone's mobile fanfared the "Ride of the Valkyries...

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Prom 39: Johnston, BBCSO, Oramo

Sebastian Scotney

The mid-way point of the BBC Proms has just passed. Attention during the eight-week season will inevitably tend to gravitate towards the novelties, “events” and one-offs, but one pre-condition for...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Meister, Prokofiev, Uri Caine & Jenny Lin

Graham Rickson

Johann Friedrich Meister: Il giardino del piacere Ensemble Diderot/Johannes Pramsohler (dir. and baroque violin) (Audax Records)Misplaced distrust of fellow Europeans is nothing new; Reinhard Goebel’...

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Edinburgh Festival: Bartoli, Barry Humphries, Deep Time

David Kettle

The big yellow banners proclaiming "Welcome, world" are out. And judging by the seething, heaving crowds, a fair portion of the world has indeed descended on Edinburgh, where the annual August...

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Proms at...Cadogan Hall: Hardenberger, Gruber, ASMF

David Nice

Superior light music with a sting, done at the highest level: what could be better for a summer lunchtime in the light and airy Cadogan Hall? Our curator was that most collegial of top soloists,...

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Prom 29: NYO, Gardner/Prom 30: Kolesnikov, NYOS, Volkov

David Nice

If the BBC were to plan a Proms season exclusively devoted to youth orchestras and ensembles, many of us would be delighted. Standards are now at professional level right across the board. 20 years...

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theartsdesk at the Verbier Festival 2016

Peter Quantrill

Idyllic setting, star-rated musicians, the sense of an occasion. Verbier so wholly fulfils the clichés of an international music festival that to the cynical it can seem complacent or arrogant in...

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Prom 27: Kuusisto, BBCSSO, Dausgaard

Alexandra Coghlan

Concert halls, as Gregg Wallace might observe if he ever went to one, don’t come much bigger than the Royal Albert Hall, nor violin concertos than the Tchaikovsky. Faced with this awesome combination...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Butterworth, Liszt, Nielsen

Graham Rickson

Butterworth: Orchestral Works BBC National Orchestra of Wales/Kriss Russman, with James Rutherford (baritone) (BIS)George Butterworth died 100 years ago this week. His surviving orchestral music isn’...

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Prom 21: Leleux, Aurora Orchestra, Collon

Bernard Hughes

The Aurora Orchestra’s gimmick at Prom 21 was the same as in the last two seasons: playing a major classical symphony from memory. This was touted as an “astonishing feat” by the concert’s on-stage...

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Prom 20: Roméo et Juliette, Monteverdi Choir, NYCoS, ORR, Gardiner

David Nice

Like Prokofiev in his full-length ballet a century later, Berlioz seems to have been inspired by Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet to bring forth his most compendious score. John Eliot Gardiner, who...

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Prom 18: Mahler's Third Symphony, LSO, Haitink

David Nice

Few 87-year-olds would have the stamina to conduct over 100 minutes of Mahler. Bernard Haitink, though, has always kept a steady, unruffled hand on the interpretative tiller, and if his way with the...

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Prom 15: Chen, BBCSO, BBCSC, Davis

Alexandra Coghlan

Programming a concert is a tricky business. Programming an entire Proms season almost unthinkably difficult. But even allowing for the odd evening of leftovers, those artists, anniversaries and...

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The Kingdom, Three Choirs Festival, Gloucester

Stephen Walsh

The last time but one that the Three Choirs Festival was in Gloucester the main offering was Elgar’s oratorio The Kingdom, and there’s a kind of inevitability about the same work turning up again,...

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