sat 25/10/2014

Classical music Reviews

Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Søndergård, Usher Hall, Edinburgh

Christopher Lambton

Is there an ideal way to programme Metamorphosen? Richard Strauss’s elegiac masterpiece requires 23 solo strings. That’s more than most chamber orchestras can muster, but with a full size symphony...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Bach, Prokofiev, Shostakovich

Graham Rickson

 Bach: Partitas 1-6 Igor Levit (piano) (Sony)Martin Geck's sleeve essay accompanying this pair of discs is a good read, hinting at the subtleties and complexities lying just below the surface of...

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quartet-lab, Wigmore Hall

David Nice

Musical theatre needn’t be dominated by the human voice. Instrumental dramas with an element of acting can be a good way into the wonderful world of chamber music for younger audiences, and the...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Mahler, Poulenc, Orbert Davis

Graham Rickson

 Mahler: Symphony no 9 Danish National Symphony Orchestra/Michael Schønwandt (Challenge Classics)The halting, juddering opening of Mahler 9 is nicely characterised in this live reading. Low harp...

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Mitsuko Uchida, Royal Festival Hall

Sebastian Scotney

Pianist Mitsuko Uchida's concentration, calm and grace under pressure are an inspiration. Towards the end of the first piece on her programme, played to a packed Royal Festival Hall last night, the...

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Sioned Williams, Purcell Room

David Nice

What Anne-Sophie Mutter is to the violin, Alison Balsom to the trumpet and Sabine Meyer to the clarinet, so is Sioned Williams to the harp. Though Meyer had the glass-ceiling distinction of being the...

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Meyer, BBCPO, Storgårds, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

Philip Radcliffe

Staying close to his Scandinavian roots, John Storgårds, principal guest conductor of the BBC Phil and chief conductor of the Helsinki Phil, is gearing up for the celebration of Carl Nielsen’s 150th...

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Cargill, Yoshino, SCO, Ticciati, Usher Hall, Edinburgh

Christopher Lambton

“Mahler, with a chamber orchestra?” In his introduction to the Scottish Chamber Orchestra’s winter season brochure, principal conductor Robin Ticciati anticipates the reaction of an audience brought...

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Mullova, Hallé, Elder, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

Philip Radcliffe

Sir Mark Elder has a penchant for taking on large-scale works in Manchester, from operatic concert performances of Wagner and Verdi to Hollywood musicals. Following that line, he kicked off the new...

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A Night Under the Stars: Latin Spirit, Royal Festival Hall

Kimon Daltas

London homelessness charity The Passage was set up in 1980 and has been growing steadily so that it now provides a day centre, short-term hostel and long-term housing in an effort to help street...

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City of London Sinfonia, Layton, Southwark Cathedral

Sebastian Scotney

Stratford-upon-Avon calling. The City of London Sinfonia has embarked on a series of three Bard-based October concerts in London to commemorate the 450th anniversary year of Shakespeare's death. The...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Nielsen, Kristjan Järvi, Benjamin Grosvenor

Graham Rickson

 Nielsen: Symphonies 1 and 4 New York Philharmonic/Alan Gilbert (Dacapo)Alan Gilbert tears into the opening of Nielsen 4 with some ferocity, sustaining the forward motion very nicely indeed....

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Piau, Les Paladins, Correas, Wigmore Hall

Alexandra Coghlan

2014 is the 250th anniversary of the death of Jean-Philippe Rameau, France’s baroque giant and maverick. To say that the UK celebrations have been muted is to put in generously, reconfirming a...

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Daniil Trifonov, Royal Festival Hall

Jessica Duchen

Daniil Trifonov, 23, has shot to prominence as one of the hottest pianistic properties of the moment. With multiple competition wins behind him, including the Tchaikovsky in his native Russia, plus a...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Aho, Bartók, Zelenka

Graham Rickson

 Kalevi Aho: Theremin Concerto, Horn Concerto Carolina Eyck (theremin), Annu Salminen (horn), Lapland Chamber Orchestra/John Storgårds (BIS)The theremin is the only instrument untouched by its...

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Grande Messe des Morts, Philharmonia, Salonen, RFH

Sebastian Scotney

Hector Berlioz knew from early on in life which aspects of death he would want to avoid. He had seen quite enough of the medical textbooks that his father had tried to foist upon him. He had even got...

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Bavouzet, LPO, Jurowski, Royal Festival Hall

David Nice

Comparisons, even on paper, between two season openers from London orchestras could hardly have been more instructive. I didn’t attend Valery Gergiev’s London Symphony Orchestra concert last week,...

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BBC Singers, BBCSO, Litton, Barbican Hall

Edward Seckerson

The problem with programming Charles Ives’s Fourth Symphony - and only the very bold and resourceful and/or the BBC are ever likely to do so - is that it eclipses everything, and I mean everything,...

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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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