sun 23/11/2014

Chopin

Ashton Mixed Bill, Royal Ballet

This morning, those who follow ballet on both sides of the Atlantic might be feeling a bit like the male soloists at the beginning of Ashton’s Scènes de Ballet: turning their heads sharply, almost pantomimically, from side to side. Over there, in...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Nielsen, Kristjan Järvi, Benjamin Grosvenor

 Nielsen: Symphonies 1 and 4 New York Philharmonic/Alan Gilbert (Dacapo)Alan Gilbert tears into the opening of Nielsen 4 with some ferocity, sustaining the forward motion very nicely indeed. Until, well, we'll get to that later. This symphony...

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Daniil Trifonov, Royal Festival Hall

Daniil Trifonov, 23, has shot to prominence as one of the hottest pianistic properties of the moment. With multiple competition wins behind him, including the Tchaikovsky in his native Russia, plus a recording contract with DG and a frenetic globe-...

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Proms Chamber Music 7: Benjamin Grosvenor/Prom 60: Driver, RPO, Dutoit

After the enervating excesses of Salome and Elektra at the weekend, the abundance of notes at the Proms continued in a piano recital and an orchestral showstopper, but this time with built-in air conditioning. After all, both 22-year-old Benjamin...

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Prom 29: Grosvenor, Goode, BBC Philharmonic, Noseda

“That,” she said, “is what it must be like when you enter heaven.” And I knew just what my wife meant. The organ was in full regalia, revelling in the marshmallow glory of the chorale theme in Saint-Saëns’ Third Symphony, with the orchestra...

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The Dream/Connectome/The Concert, Royal Ballet

The Dream has at its heart a great partnership. Not just the original, magical pairing of Anthony Dowell and Antoinette Sibley, for whom Frederick Ashton created the ballet fifty years ago (thereby launching one of the top couples in ballet history...

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Khatia Buniatishvili, Queen Elizabeth Hall

A voluptuous dream in sequined silver, the nearly-27-year-old Georgian pianist Khatia Buniatishvili sat down at the keyboard and instantly transcendentalised her mermaid look as Ravel’s Ondine. Even Brahms took to the life aquatic of her recital’s...

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Trifonov, LSO, Gergiev, Barbican

This concert brought to a close the London Symphony Orchestra's focus on Scriabin, in a series appropriately titled "Music in colour". The Third Symphony was partnered here with Messiaen’s early work Les offrandes oubliées and Chopin’s Second Piano...

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Pires, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Ticciati, Usher Hall, Edinburgh

This is more an excuse for celebration than a review. Six years after the Scottish Chamber Orchestra was founded in 1974 – the birth year we were marking last night – I rolled up in a foggy Edinburgh one February day and chose it as my alma mater on...

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theartsdesk in Stavanger: A touch of Fröst

Three great pianists, one of the world’s top clarinettists and two fine string players in a single concert: it’s what you might expect from a chamber music festival at the highest level. What I wasn’t anticipating on the first evening in Stavanger...

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10 Questions for Amateur Musician Alan Rusbridger

Had we but world enough and time... A new book by the editor of the Guardian makes it clear quite how many hours in the day it takes to run a national newspaper in the digital age. There is the unyielding nature of 24-hour news, while the internet...

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Yevgeny Sudbin, Westminster Cathedral Hall

It was the kind of programme that great pianist Vladimir Horowitz used to pioneer, with the simple balm of Scarlatti offset by Scriabin’s flights of fancy, and a dash of virtuoso fireworks to conclude. Though he is an admirer of the master, and even...

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