tue 29/07/2014

Classical music Reviews

Prom 14: Pahud, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Fischer

Bernard Hughes

Last night's Prom offered an intriguing mixture of French music both sacred and profane, with a British world premiere as its centrepiece. Duruflé’s pious Requiem rubbed shoulders with Ravel’s wordly...

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A Hundred Million Musicians: China's Classical Challenge, BBC Four

Jasper Rees

A few years ago I sat high up in a rapt, sweltering Albert Hall as a lone pianist performed for two hours in the round. Neither before nor since has the BBC Proms treated a classical musician like a...

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Prom 12: Bach St John Passion, Zurich Chamber Orchestra, Norrington

Kimon Daltas

Sir Roger Norrington, 80 this year, produced a masterful St John Passion in the first of his two appearances at this year’s Proms, built around his excellent Swiss chamber orchestra and the Zürcher...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Dvořák, Haydn, Janáček, Thomas Larcher

Graham Rickson

 Dvořák: Symphony no 8, Janáček: Symphonic Suite from Jenůfa Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra/Manfred Honeck (Reference Recordings)Dvořák's Seventh has the Brahmsian drama, and the Ninth has the...

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Prom 7: BBCSO, Bělohlávek/Prom 8: Pet Shop Boys

Matthew Wright

The Forties and Fifties, seen through the eyes of Shostakovich and the Pet Shop Boys, were the historical centre of gravity for last night’s courageously broad Proms programme. Bartók’s Violin...

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Man Overboard, Aurora Orchestra, Collon, LSO St Luke's

Heidi Goldsmith

If the 15-word limit of a succinct listings blurb ever taught you a lesson let it be immediate suspicion of any performer or musician termed "jazzy". This wariness could extend to anything...

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Prom 4: World Orchestra for Peace, Gergiev

Sebastian Scotney

This was a rare outing by the World Orchestra for Peace, which has performed fewer than 20 concerts since the death of its founder Sir Georg Solti in 1997. UNESCO had designated this BBC Prom as "The...

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Simon Trpčeski, Wigmore Hall

Jessica Duchen

No man is a prophet in his own land – except possibly the Macedonian pianist Simon Trpčeski. In the UK he shot to fame upon winning the London International Piano Competition in 2001 and at home he...

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First Night of the Proms, BBCSO, Davis, Royal Albert Hall

David Nice

“And suddenly there came from heaven a sound as of the rushing of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.” To fill the Albert Hall – where a sizeable number of...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Hartmann, Mahler, Vaughan Williams

Graham Rickson

 Hartmann – Symphonies 1-8 Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic, cond Markus Stenz, James Gaffigan, Michael Schønwandt, Christoph Poppen, Osmo Vänska...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Per Nørgård, Stephen Hough, The Society of Strange and Ancient Instruments

Graham Rickson

 Per Nørgård: Symphonies 1 and 8 Vienna Philharmonic/Sakari Oramo (Dacapo)Per Nørgård's Symphony No. 1 was completed in 1955. A few years earlier, the composer had written a fan letter to the...

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Daneman, Bostridge, Drake, Middle Temple Hall

Sebastian Scotney

Temple Music's enterprising song series, directed by pianist Julius Drake, brought a welcome rarity to Middle Temple Hall last night. Schumann's Myrthen, the garland of twenty-six songs dedicated to...

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Pinnock's Passions, Handel's Garden, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

Kimon Daltas

The latest in a series of "Pinnock’s Passions" concerts at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse saw the doyen of period instrument performance lead a delightful exploration of Handel the musical borrower,...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Turina, Rorem, Rhos Male Voice Choir

Graham Rickson

 Ned Rorem: Piano Album 1, Six Friends Carolyn Enger (piano) (Naxos)The prolific Ned Rorem will be 91 this autumn. He's still an active composer, and the 33 short piano pieces collected on this...

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Jordi Savall, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

Sebastian Scotney

Jordi Savall has spent half a century combining instrumental performance on the viola da gamba with being the leader of ensembles of pioneering scholarship. Now in his early 70s, he has certainly had...

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Crowd Out/Death Actually, Spitalfields Music Summer Festival

David Nice

“I feel so alone I could cry”. As the keynote of Adam Smallbone’s Passion in the breathtaking third series of Rev, that unspoken sentiment provided a passacaglia bass line to the failure of St...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Brahms, Elgar, Tobias Hume

Graham Rickson

 Brahms: The Violin Sonatas Corey Cerovsek (violin), Paavali Jumppanen (piano) (Milanollo)Listening to Brahms's chamber music in hefty doses is good for the soul. The symphonies and concertos...

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De la Salle, LSO, Luisi, Barbican

Edward Seckerson

It is not often we hear Bruckner’s colossal Eighth Symphony in its longer and far quirkier original version (1887 ed. Nowak) and when we do hear it in either of its two incarnations it invariably...

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Owen Wingrave/ Pavel Haas Quartet, Aldeburgh Festival

David Nice

What a red letter day it is when a work you’ve always thought of as problematic seems at last, if only temporarily, to have no kind of fault or flaw. That was the case for me on Sunday afternoon with...

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Anna Prohaska, Eric Schneider, Wigmore Hall

Geoff Brown

Judging from the photos used to publicise Anna Prohaska’s new album – one of them is dancing merrily above this review – this gorgeously gifted soprano should have been singing this spin-off recital...

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