thu 30/03/2017

Mendelssohn

Dego, CBSO, Rustioni, Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari has never quite been a one-work composer. No points for knowing the fizzy overture to his delightful 1909 pro-smoking comedy Il segreto di Susanna; quite a few more if you know the whole opera. Extra credit for being able to hum...

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Best of 2016: Classical

Revelations in the classical year never stop coming. Even the week before Christmas yielded two performances as good as you're going to get: the sheer effervescence and light-flourishing of Lucy Crowe in ecstatic Bach and Mozart with La Nuova Musica...

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Kanneh-Mason, Fantasia Orchestra, Fetherstonhaugh, St Gabriel's Pimlico

Sheku Kanneh-Mason isn't just BBC Young Musician 2016 - he's the year's top player in my books, a master at any level. Despite a contract with Decca, starting with the Shostakovich First Cello Concerto he played in the competition finale, he looks...

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Ehnes, Hallé, Elder, Hayward, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

Two things to note in Thursday’s Hallé performance at the Bridgewater Hall: the debut in the Manchester main series of their highly talented new assistant conductor, Jonathon Heyward, and another stride along the road towards the Hallé/Elder...

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10 Questions for Conductor Sir John Eliot Gardiner

The Lobgesang "lies very near my heart," wrote Mendelssohn. And the composer was so self-critical that the published order of his symphonies bears no resemblance to their composition: this "Hymn of Praise", known as the Second, was the penultimate...

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Hunt, London Firebird Orchestra, Bloxham, St Paul's Covent Garden

It's harder for young professional musicians to be judged in standard repertoire – the very greatest music, in short – than to make their mark tackling the unknown in a wacky venue. High levels of energy and technical skill married to...

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theartsdesk at the D-Marin Festival: Turkish poetry in music, Bach at sunrise

Istanbul six weeks before the failed coup, the south-west coast of Turkey six weeks after: what's the difference? None that I could see; once past the Turkish Airlines flights, with literature and screen full of the "People's Victory", there was no...

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Prom 9: Feola, Le Cercle de l'Harmonie, Rhorer

It's never easy readjusting to the weird and sometimes wonderful acoustics of Albert's colosseum at Proms time, least of all when the first thing you hear there comes from a period-instrument band. Tuning in to Jérémie Rhorer's Le Cercle de l'...

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Classical CDs Weekly: MacMillan, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Tchaikovsky

James MacMillan: Since it was the day of Preparation Hebrides Ensemble/William Conway, with Brindley Sherratt (bass), Synergy Vocals (Delphian)A follow-up to James MacMillan's St John Passion, Since it was the day of Preparation tells the story of...

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East Neuk Festival 2016

All the best festivals develop organically, with a guiding hand from the best directors. When I first came to the East Neuk Festival two years ago, on its 10th anniversary, it was already a special case, thriving on the spirit of place and including...

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Haïm: In the Light of a Violin, The Print Room

On the face of it, there is nothing in this tightly focused little piece that says anything new about the Holocaust. The plight of a poor Jewish boy unfortunate enough to be growing up in 1930s Poland is dismally familiar. The story of life-...

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A Midsummer Night's Dream, Middle Temple Hall

You rarely see a full production of Shakespeare's dream play so magical it brings tears to the eyes. But then you don't often get 42 players and 14 voices joining the cast to adorn the text with Mendelssohn's bewitching incidental music, plus the...

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