wed 10/02/2016

Classical music Reviews

Zavalloni, Saeijs, Britten Sinfonia, Rundell, Barbican

Gavin Dixon

The music of Louis Andriessen is instantly recognisable but frustratingly difficult to define. The American Minimalists are a strong influence, but so too is Stravinsky, and through him, Bach. Those...

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The Mighty Handful, ROH Orchestra, Pappano, Royal Opera House

David Nice

What fun it must have been to attend any of the St Petersburg Free Music School concerts during the second half of the 19th century. Balakirev, idiosyncratic mentor of the group briefly together as...

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Fleming, BBCSO, Oramo, Barbican

Gavin Dixon

Renée Fleming recently announced her imminent retirement from the opera stage. But she has no plans to stop performing, and will instead devote her time to recitals and concerts. Yesterday’s...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Dutilleux, Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky, Amy Dickson

Graham Rickson

Dutilleux: Le Loup, and other early works Vincent Le Texier (baritone), Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire/Pascal Rophé (BIS)Henri Dutilleux's mature orchestral output can be squeezed onto a...

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Kraggerud, Gimse, Wigmore Hall

Gavin Dixon

All three Grieg violin sonatas in a single recital may seem like too much of a good thing. The similarities between them outweigh the differences, which are more of quality than intent. But, when...

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Benedetti, CBSO, Shani, Saffron Hall, Saffron Walden

Gavin Dixon

With Andris Nelsons now moved to pastures new, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra is without a chief conductor, so for this performance in Saffron Walden (repeating a programme given in...

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Green Mass, LPO, Jurowski, RFH

Peter Quantrill

In recent performances of the First Symphony under Markus Stenz and the Seventh under Jaap van Zweden, the LPO have burnished their credentials as London’s best Beethoven orchestra. With the low-key...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Debussy, Tippett, Heinz Holliger

Graham Rickson

Debussy: Starry Night – Préludes Book 1 and Other Works Michael Lewin (piano) (Sono Luminus)Michael Lewin's earlier Debussy anthology was excellent, and this second volume also hits the spot. In the...

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Dutilleux Centenary, BBC NOW, Rophé, Cardiff

Stephen Walsh

The French composer Henri Dutilleux would have been 100 last Friday if he had lived that long, which in fact he very nearly did; he was 97 when he died in 2013. Five years before that he had been...

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Gutman, LPO, Jurowski, RFH

David Nice

Risk-taking is what gives so many of Vladimir Jurowski's concerts with the London Philharmonic Orchestra their special savour. But did two risks for last night's programme pay off? I was as excited...

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Van de Wiel, Philharmonia, Wilson, RFH

Bernard Hughes

Vaughan Williams’s A Sea Symphony, premiered in 1909, is from perhaps the last era in which pieces readily found favour with both critics and audiences alike. It launched Vaughan Williams’s...

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Roméo et Juliette, BBCSO, Davis, Barbican

David Nice

It was another Davis, the late Colin rather than the very alive Andrew, who used to be master of Berlioz's phenomenally inventive opera for orchestra with its novel explanatory prologue and epilogue...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Bartók, Brahms, Copland, Wien-Berlin Brass Quintet

Graham Rickson

Brahms: Violin Concerto, Bartók: Violin Concerto No 1 Janine Jansen (violin) Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, London Symphony Orchestra/Antonio Pappano (Decca)Coupling music by...

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Giordano, SCO, Mendez, Queen's Hall, Edinburgh

Christopher Lambton

Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven: it’s a while since I have heard the Scottish Chamber Orchestra play such an essentially classical programme on its home turf, the Queen’s Hall in Edinburgh. Recent...

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Trio Shaham Erez Wallfisch, Wigmore Hall

Jessica Duchen

Some chamber ensembles flourish through creative conflict, contrast and tension. Others streamline their approach, not so much relinquishing individuality as allowing the best of each to blend into...

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Alder, Hulett, Classical Opera, Page, Wigmore Hall

David Nice

Unlike Schubert, Mendelssohn and Shostakovich, Mozart composed nothing astoundingly individual before the age of 20. That leaves any odyssey through his oeuvre, year by year – this one will finish in...

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Mitchell, Atkins, Johnston, Queen's Hall, Edinburgh

David Kettle

It was a simple yet beautifully elegant way for the Scottish Chamber Orchestra to kick off its 2016 chamber concerts: a recital for flute, viola and harp, with Debussy’s beguiling Sonata as the...

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Barenboim 60th Anniversary Concert, Simón Bolívar SO, Dudamel, RFH

Sebastian Scotney

The memories were flooding back last night. Barenboim's speech after the concert, lasting about a quarter of an hour, contained vivid recollections of his first appearance on that stage in 1956 as a...

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Turangalîla, Wang, Millar, Simón Bolívar SO, Dudamel, RFH

Bernard Hughes

Before this concert I had never seen Gustavo Dudamel conduct, and after it I still haven’t. Because of the alignment of my seat and the piano lid, all I saw of the Venezuelan maestro was the...

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Mozart's Piano 1, Butt, Aurora Orchestra, Kings Place

Sebastian Scotney

One down, 26 to go. “Mozart's Piano” is a series of concerts by the Aurora Orchestra at Kings Place, based around a complete cycle of Mozart's piano concertos. It started last night, and will reach...

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