thu 23/11/2017

Bach

András Schiff, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review – rigour and honesty

Intellectual rigour and emotional honesty are the rewarding qualities in András Schiff’s Bach playing. Virtuosity comes as standard, too. And you get value for your money – his programme all but filled two-and-a-half hours, and he was as completely...

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Angela Hewitt, Wigmore Hall review – Bach Partitas shine and sing

On paper this was a fairly austere piece of programming. No variety in composer, genre or style, just four Bach Partitas in a row, works of similar approach, length and technique. And yet in performance, in the hands of Angela Hewitt, there was...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Bach, Morton Feldman, Maria Marchant

Bach: Keyboard Concertos, Italian Concerto Sonya Bach (piano), English Chamber Orchestra/John Mills and Stephanie Gonley (leaders) (Rubicon)There's no shortage of decent recordings of Bach concertos played on piano. I’d probably rescue my Murray...

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Reger Cello Suites, Richard Harwood, Malling Abbey review - Bach with a dash of acid

Three “little greats,” as Opera North might put it, proved just the thing to cleanse the palate in a quiet place the afternoon after the LSO/Rattle Stravinsky trilogy. Composed following a breakdown in 1914, the year after the premiere of The Rite...

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Prom 73 review: The Well-Tempered Clavier - Book 1, Schiff - glorious solo voyage across Bach's universe

Amazingly, last night Sir András Schiff scored a Proms first with his performance of Book One of Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier. Never before has even half of the sublime and seminal “48” taken the Royal Albert Hall stage in unmutilated form...

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Proms at... & Prom 56 reviews: Multi-Story Orchestra / BBCSO, Hrůša - the best of all possible worlds

There we had it, in one extraordinary Proms day: the brave new world of contemporary classical music for all in a repurposed Peckham car park followed by the consolidation of the old order in all-Czech programming of remarkable originality and...

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Prom 50 review: Josefowicz, Clayton, CBSO, Gražinytė-Tyla - personality in every bar

Everything you may have read about Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla's wonder-working with her City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra is true. Confined to a Turkish hospital bed when their first Prom together took place last August, I wondered from the radio...

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Proms 47, 48 & 49 review: Reformation Day - superlative Bach as the bedrock

Reformation Day, Luther 500 - in Proms terms it can only mean Bach, the alpha and omega of music, flourishing roughly two centuries after the Wittenberg Nightingale nailed his 95 theses to the church door. Those of us who headed home on Saturday...

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Pick of the 2017 BBC Proms: from Orthodox chant to Oklahoma!

It’s the best-looking Proms season on paper for quite a few years. That might just be a different way of saying we like it, but no-one could reproach Director David Pickard for lack of original programming or diversity (look at the whole, bigger...

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OAE, Christie, St John's Smith Square

William Christie chose a suitably light and breezy programme for this warm summer evening’s concert at St. John’s Smith Square. The concert was titled “Bach goes to Paris”, with works chosen to highlight the connections between the German master and...

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theartsdesk at the Istanbul Music Festival: East and West in perfect balance

The time is out of joint for Turkey at the moment, but it’s still a country equally split between those looking to the west for the culture of ideas and the more conservative element which at least needs its voice respected. They co-exist peacefully...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Mahler, Shostakovich, Michael Barenboim

Bach, Bartók, Boulez Michael Barenboim (violin) (Accentus)Michael Barenboim’s disc consists solely of pieces by composers whose names begin with B, but it’s effectively an A-Z of solo violin technique, as well as a demonstration of his winning...

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