sat 31/01/2015

Classical music Reviews

Florian Boesch, Roger Vignoles, Wigmore Hall

Alexandra Coghlan

Ernst Krenek is probably best remembered nowadays as the composer of Jonny Spielt Auf – the quintessential Zeitoper of Weimar Germany and later the archetype of all that was designated “degenerate”...

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Hannigan, LPO, Jurowski, Festival Hall

Geoff Brown

Barbara Hannigan, we all know, is game for anything. This Canadian soprano with the pearliest tones and the dramatic instincts of a Sarah Bernhardt can find beauty and meaning in almost every...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Henry Mancini, Georg Breinschmid, Beethoven

Graham Rickson

 Henry Mancini: The Classic Soundtrack Collection (Sony)You get a good sense of any composer's strengths and limitations when you consume their music in box set-sized quantities. With the...

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James Dillon's Stabat Mater, London Sinfonietta, Volkov, QEH

Gavin Dixon

James Dillon calls this major work, premered at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival last November, a “Cubist Stabat Mater”. He sets the hymn, but adds in more recent words, texts on related...

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Latvian Radio Choir, Kļava, St John's Smith Square

Gavin Dixon

Latvia likes to be different. At least that’s the message they sent out with the cultural programme marking the start of the country’s presidency of the Council of the European Union. Pomp and...

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JACK Quartet, Wigmore Hall

Geoff Brown

The mixed grilled school of programme-making is not for the JACK Quartet. Contemporary, contemporary, and contemporary: that was the bill of fare last night at this challenging recital offered by the...

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Colli, BBCSO, Oramo, Barbican Hall

David Nice

Was 1911 the best ever year for music? Works premiered or composed then include Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier, Stravinsky’s Petrushka, Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde and the Tenth Symphony he’d...

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Hannigan, LSO, Rattle, Barbican Hall

Peter Quantrill

For his second programme this week with the London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Simon Rattle conducted variations on a programme he’s been doing for years. So what’s the theme? Invention and hysteria, you...

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Jansen, Golan, Wigmore Hall

Sebastian Scotney

This recital had looked so good on paper. The charismatic Dutch violinist Janine Jansen, with Itamar Golan at the piano, would bring all the brooding darkness of late '60s Shostakovich to life, and...

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Winterreise, Bostridge, Adès, Barbican Hall

Alexandra Coghlan

Ian Bostridge’s relationship with Schubert’s song-cycle Winterreise goes back 30 years. Many of those years have been spent in the public eye (and ear), allowing us to watch the tenor grow and grow-...

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Das Paradies und die Peri, LSO, Rattle, Barbican

Gavin Dixon

Simon Rattle wants you to hear Das Paradies und die Peri. He is convinced that Schumann’s oratorio is one of the great undiscovered masterpieces of the Romantic era. To that end, he has led...

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In C, London Sinfonietta, Kings Place

Geoff Brown

There’s nothing like Terry Riley’s In C to reawaken a past epoch. Of variable length, built from 53 melodic fragments, this minimalist construct of 1964 was almost designed to be performed and...

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Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela Concert 2, RFH

Alexandra Coghlan

The Simón Bolívar orchestra is the musical answer to the question “Would you like to supersize that?” A youth orchestra in bulk, if no longer in name, the ensemble has made a signature of its heft,...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Janáček, Orff, David Childs

Graham Rickson

 Janáček: Glagolitic Mass, The Eternal Gospel Prague Philharmonic Choir, Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra/Tomáš Netopil (Supraphon)Lack of faith has never been an impediment to composing...

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Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, Dudamel, RFH

David Nice

Youth may have vanished from the title, and its first flush is gone from the cheeks of most of the young persons. Now they’re in their prime, a magnificent sight – and the sound, too, is that of a...

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Scriabin Anniversary Recital, Ohlsson, Wigmore Hall

David Nice

Of Alexander Nikolayevich Scriabin, who died 100 years ago aged 43, it was said at one time (by Rimsky-Korsakov) that he was “warped, a poser and opinionated”, at another (by Boris Pasternak) that he...

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National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, Wilson, Leeds Town Hall

Graham Rickson

Elgar. Hmm. Music for the home counties. Party conferences. Golf clubs, and chaps wearing tweed jackets. All wrong, of course; it’s easy to forget that this most misunderstood of composers was...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Konstantia Gourzi, Ravel, Sarah Willis

Graham Rickson

Konstantia Gourzi: Music for piano and string quartet (ECM)You rather hope you'll bump into and make the acquaintance of the Greek composer Konstantia Gourzi. And that she'll be sufficiently...

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Best of 2014: Classical Concerts

David Nice

Offshoots of the Venezuelan El Sistema’s worldwide dissemination as well as other youth and music projects continued to bloom and grow in 2014. The morning after what was the orchestral concert of...

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Bach B minor Mass, Trinity College Choir, OAE, Layton, St John's Smith Square

David Nice

While the embers of the concert year are dying out around the country, you can be sure of a great blaze-up at St John’s Smith Square. The annual Christmas Festival of quality early-music groups and...

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