sat 29/08/2015

Classical music Reviews

Classical CDs Weekly: Hugi Guðmundsson, Schubert, Les Siècles

Graham Rickson

Hugi Guðmundsson: Calm of the Deep The Hamrahlíd Choir/Þorgerður Ingólfsdóttir, Nordic Affect/Guðni Franzson (Smekkleysa)Calm of the Deep introduces us to contemporary Icelandic composer Hugi...

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Prom 55: SWR SO Baden-Baden and Freiburg, Roth

Peter Quantrill

The only reasonable explanation for the all too belated arrival at the Proms of the SWR Baden-Baden and Freiburg Orchestra is that the festival’s house band, the BBC Symphony, is the one other...

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Prom Chamber Music 6: Jeremy Denk/ Prom 53: Fray, Philharmonia, Salonen

David Nice

There were two reasons why I didn’t return to the Albert Hall late on Friday night to hear Andras Schiff play Bach’s Goldberg Variations. The first was that one epic, Mahler’s Sixth in the stunning...

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Bach Hours: The Orgelbüchlein Project, St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh

Christopher Lambton

When Bach set out in 1713 to write his Orgelbüchlein, or “little organ book”, he listed the titles of the 164 chorales that he wished to include in what was to be a compendium of organ preludes for...

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Prom 51: Boston SO, Nelsons

Gavin Dixon

Andris Nelsons and the Boston Symphony Orchestra have made the Shostakovich Tenth their calling card. Their recent recording of the work on Deutsche Grammophon has received universal acclaim, and now...

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Prom 49: Hardenberger, Boston SO, Nelsons

David Nice

So here he was in town with his top American team, the already great conductor whose premature departure from Birmingham has left the players in mourning, unable to choose a successor yet, and whose...

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Colin Currie and Friends, Queen's Hall, Edinburgh

David Kettle

Two percussionists, two pianists, Adams, Reich and Bartók: Colin Currie and friends’ bracing morning recital at the Edinburgh International Festival made quite a pleasing change from the more...

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Grande Messe des Morts, Philharmonia, Salonen, Usher Hall, Edinburgh

Christopher Lambton

It's fitting that for its 50th anniversary the Edinburgh Festival Chorus should perform Berlioz’s gigantic Grande Messe des Morts. There is nothing in the large-scale orchestral repertoire in which...

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Prom 47 : BBCSO, Oramo/ Prom 48: AAM, Hill

Alexandra Coghlan

It’s been glorious to hear so much Bach at this year’s Proms – most of it after dark, and still more of it for the most intimate of forces. On paper, the Academy of Ancient Music and BBC Singers’...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Prokofiev, Smetana, Valentini

Graham Rickson

Prokofiev: Symphonies 4 (Op.47) & 5, Dreams Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra/Kiril Karabits (Onyx)Prokofiev was adept at recycling good ideas. His Symphony No. 3 is linked thematically to the opera...

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Seven, Ballett am Rhein/RSNO, Edinburgh Playhouse

Hanna Weibye

When the Royal Opera House told Kenneth MacMillan that Mahler was unsuitable for ballet, he went – where else? – to Germany. Though the success of MacMillan's Lied von der Erde for Stuttgart Ballet...

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Prom 46: Znaider, Danish NSO, Luisi

David Nice

Praise be to Carl Nielsen. Praise always, of course, to one of the greatest symphonists, and happy 150th birthday (again), but gratitude on this occasion is due to a programme mostly lining up...

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Prom 45: Leonskaja, RPO, Dutoit

David Nice

Drawing an audience of five and a half thousand in to listen intently is harder than pushing out into the vasts of the Albert Hall. Yet it’s what seems to work best in this unpredictable space, and...

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Aimard, Philharmonia, Salonen, Usher Hall, Edinburgh

David Kettle

It was the first major casualty of the 2015 Edinburgh International Festival. Global superstar pianist Lang Lang was stuck overseas, forbidden from flying by his doctor because of an ear infection,...

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Prom 43: BBCSO, Vänskä

David Benedict

Nearly 10 years ago to the day, an almost unknown 24-year-old Venezuelan conductor came a cropper when valiantly stepping in at short notice to conduct Sibelius’s Fifth Symphony at the Proms. (His...

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Prom 42: Rachlin, BBCSSO, Volkov

David Nice

A second night of Sibelius symphonies at the Proms, packed to the rafters just like its predecessor. Exit Thomas Dausgaard, the tuba needed for the first two symphonies but not for the Third or –...

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Prom 40: BBCSSO, Dausgaard

David Nice

From Sakari Oramo’s riveting Nielsen symphonies at the Barbican to Thomas Dausgaard kicking off the Proms’ Sibelius cycle, the two Nordic immortals are well served in their 150th birthday year. The...

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Currie, RSNO, Gardner, Usher Hall, Edinburgh

David Kettle

On paper it looked like it would be very much a concert of two halves. James MacMillan’s energetic, glittering Second Percussion Concerto was unveiled last year and received its first UK performance...

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Prom 38: Osborne, BBC Philharmonic, Mena

Bernard Hughes

Pairing Messiaen’s Turangalîla Symphony with John Foulds’ Three Mantras was a smart piece of programming: established modern classic and obscure novelty sharing an inspiration from Indian music and...

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Prom 36: Hamelin, BBCSO, Roth

Sebastian Scotney

The pulling power of the BBC Proms was in action last night, as a virtually full Royal Albert Hall settled down at 6.30pm, and braced itself for 22 testing minutes of restless, angular, unforgiving...

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Prom 55: SWR SO Baden-Baden and Freiburg, Roth

An emotional hail-and-farewell to the Proms from a superb German orchestra