sun 25/06/2017

piano

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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Evgeny Kissin: Memoirs and Reflections review - Russian education, European conviction, Jewish heritage

"Generally speaking," writes Evgeny Kissin in one of the many generous tributes to those whose artistry he most admires, "the mastery of [Carlo Maria] Giulini is exactly what is dearest of all to me in art: simplicity, depth and spirituality". The...

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theartsdesk on Vinyl 28: Manic Street Preachers, Joep Beving, Wreckless Eric, SWANS and more

While the 36 records reviewed below run the gamut of Wreckless Eric to Democratic Republic of the Congo Afro-electronica, this month there’s also a special, one-off section for modern classical. This is due to an ear-pleasing haul of releases...

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Kempf, Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, Simonov, Cadogan Hall

It could have been your standard Russian touring programme: Tchaikovsky ballet music as hors d'oeuvre, Rachmaninov piano concerto, Shostakovich symphony. But the symphony was hardly the usual (Sixth rather than Fifth or Tenth). And any chance should...

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Chineke! Orchestra, Brighton Festival / Saleem Ashkar, Wigmore Hall

Anyone who missed the opening Southbank concerts of the Chinike! Orchestra, figurehead of a foundation which aims to give much-needed help to young Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) classical musicians, could and now can (on YouTube) catch snippets of...

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Janina Fialkowska, Wigmore Hall

You wouldn’t guess it from her name, but Janina Fialkowska isn’t actually Polish. You wouldn’t guess from her Chopin either, which is sensitive and supple, always emotive and deeply idiomatic. The Canadian pianist (her father was Polish) has...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Horn-player Alec Frank-Gemmill

Traditional musical formats rarely suit the individual talent, but the highly-motivated player always finds a way. I first got to talk to Alec Frank-Gemmill in the very sociable surroundings of the Pärnu Festival in Estonia, a gathering most...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Chopin, Glass, Alec Frank-Gemmill

 Chopin: Mazurkas Ivana Gavric (Edition Classics)Ivana Gavric suggests that Chopin’s Mazurkas are “short, poignant, diary entries”, and her performances remind us how the greatest composers are never constrained when writing miniatures. As with...

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Debussy Préludes, Alexander Melnikov, Wigmore Hall

Who needs hallucinogenic drugs when we have Debussy's two books of Préludes? In the hands, that is, of a pianist magician who holds the key to this wild parade, demi-real wonderland, call it what you will. I've only heard two wizards equal to the...

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Jonathan Biss, Milton Court

"Late Style", the theme and title of pianist Jonathan Biss's three-concert miniseries, need not be synonymous with terminal thoughts of death. This recital ranged from introspection (Brahms), radiant simplicity (Schumann) and aphoristic minimalism (...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Alnæs, Granados, Kelly, Mompou

Eyvind Alnæs: Piano Concerto & Symphony Håvard Gimse (piano), Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra/Eivind Aadland (Lawo Classics)Eyvind Alnæs’s C Minor Symphony, written in 1897 after his return to Norway from studying in Leipzig, hints at great things,...

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Buchbinder, Philharmonia, Hrůša, RFH

It's a rare concert when nothing need be questioned about the orchestral playing. The usual nagging doubts – about whether any of the London orchestras has a recognisable sound-identity, or whether Rattle's swipe agains the two main London concert...

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