sun 29/03/2015

Classical music Reviews

St Matthew Passion, Anton Bruckner Choir, St John's Smith Square

Alexandra Coghlan

After a Messiah last Christmas by one of London’s finest professional chamber choirs that was straight off the factory production line – mindlessly and maddeningly correct, just, I suspect, as it had...

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Mikhail Rudy, Kings Place

Peter Quantrill

Opening It’s All About Piano!, a short but packed festival shared between Kings Place and the Institut français in Kensington, Mikhail Rudy made a rare appearance in the UK. The premise was unusual...

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Bronfman, LPO, Jurowski, RFH

David Nice

Over the past two Saturdays, Vladimir Jurowski and a London Philharmonic on top form have given us a mini-festival of great scores for Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes. The hallucinogenic vision of ancient...

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Total Immersion: Boulez at 90, Barbican

Gavin Dixon

Pierre Boulez sits in the back of a car as it drives across Westminster Bridge. He is talking about the audience appeal of his music, and he is characteristically direct. If the performance is good,...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Ruperto Chapí, Rossini, Walton

Graham Rickson

 Ruperto Chapí: String Quartets 1 and 2 Cuarteto Latinoamericano (Sono Luminus)Think string quartet and you tend to think Beethoven, Haydn, Mozart. Maybe Bartók and Shostakovich. But generally...

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Josefowicz, Novacek, Wigmore Hall

Sebastian Scotney

Who knew that the wisdom of crowds could be quite so fickle or so fallible? This superb recital by the American violinist Leila Josefowicz and pianist John Novacek was played in front of a Wigmore...

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Widmann, LPO, Jurowski, RFH

Geoff Brown

Through symphony, opera and orchestral fireworks, Julian Anderson’s music can usually be guaranteed to bring his audiences plenty of meaty listening. But the British composer’s golden aura faded...

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RLPO 175th Birthday Concert, Petrenko, Liverpool Philharmonic Hall

Glyn Môn Hughes

When the curtain came down on Liverpool’s year in the limelight as European Capital of Culture, back in 2008, there may have been some who thought that the party was over. Things in the city’s arts...

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Feldman's Triadic Memories, Melnikov, Wigmore Hall

Peter Quantrill

Morton Feldman and Robert Schumann don’t often appear in the same sentence, but in his brief platform introduction Alexander Melnikov perceptively located common ground: they are two of the greatest...

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Wang, LSO, Tilson Thomas, Barbican

Gavin Dixon

Michael Tilson Thomas is in town to celebrate his 70th birthday. And he's with old friends – he’s been working with the London Symphony since 1970, including six years as principal conductor. There...

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Lane, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Manze, RFH

Gavin Dixon

Andrew Manze chose an all-English programme for his debut with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Clarity of texture and disciplined, propulsive tempos are the hallmarks of his conducting, the...

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Donohoe, BBCSSO, Prieto, City Halls, Glasgow

David Nice

Shock and Shakespeare were the two forces that powered a typically thoughtful programme from the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. I said as much in a pre-performance talk where the links weren’t hard...

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BBCSO, Segerstam, Barbican

Peter Quantrill

The BBC Radio 3 announcer came on stage to introduce the concert and promised us "the 100 minutes" of Bruckner’s Eighth Symphony in the second half. Some of us smiled and assumed he (or his...

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Benedetti, La Cetra, Saffron Hall

Sebastian Scotney

There's a whole fairytale backstory to be told here. The residents of Saffron Walden and the surrounding area still can't quite believe their good fortune. The North Essex town and its state...

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Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, CBSO Centre, Birmingham

Stephen Walsh

You might imagine that composers in general would write songs. On my way to the BCMG’s programme of pieces from the songbook assembled by John Woolrich and Mary Wiegold for the Composers’ Ensemble 30...

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Hardenberger, Philharmonia, Nelsons, RFH

Gavin Dixon

Even by trumpeters’ standards, Håkan Hardenberger is a flamboyant figure. He sports a sharp, tailored suit and a wing-collared shirt, and his stage presence is all swagger and pomp. HK Gruber has...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Monteverdi, Vaughan Williams, Simon Desbruslais

Graham Rickson

 Monteverdi: Vespers of 1610 The Sixteen/Harry Christophers (Coro)The first few minutes of Monteverdi's Vespers are a knockout. Rarely has one sustained chord been so fruitfully deployed, and...

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Von Otter, BBCSO, Oramo, Barbican

David Nice

Hair-raising guaranteed or your money back: that might have been a publicity gambit, had there been one, for Sakari Oramo’s latest journey with the BBC Symphony Orchestra around a Nielsen symphony....

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Kožena, Royal, Berliner Philharmoniker, Rattle, RFH

Jessica Duchen

It’s all over: the final note of the Berliner Philharmoniker’s London Residency, for which many music-lovers bought tickets about a year ago, has risen into the ether, leaving most questions...

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Philharmonic Octet Berlin, Queen Elizabeth Hall

David Nice

Even in a big orchestral concert, you’re bound to note Berlin Philharmonic principals as among the best instrumentalists in the world. I cited five in the central instalment of Simon Rattle’s...

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