wed 27/07/2016

piano

theartsdesk in Reykjavík: Nocturnes for Midsummer

After a grey start, there was a spectacular sunset around midnight on the second of my two days in Reykjavik. It's what brings one of Iceland's most brilliant younger-generation talents, pianist Víkingur Ólafsson (and yes, he's worked with Björk),...

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Catalogue d'Oiseaux, Aimard, Aldeburgh Festival

"He is one of the few pianists who will not make them sound like angry birds," said young pianist-animateur Víkingur Ólafsson in Reykjavík when I told him that in little over 24 hours' time I'd be hearing Pierre-Laurent Aimard work his way through...

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Cédric Tiberghien, Wigmore Hall

This programme looked like a non-starter on paper, a long sequence of short Bartók dance settings, followed by a second half that was dominated by works for children from Bartók and Kurtág. But it worked, largely thanks to Cédric Tiberghien’s...

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Igor Levit, Wigmore Hall

Igor Levit’s Wigmore Hall recital was a cerebral affair, consisting mainly of Bach and Busoni with an opener, a Passacaglia by Johann Kaspar Kerll (1627-1693). Levit is a Russian-born pianist who has lived in Hannover in Germany since the age of...

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Zuev, LPO, Jurowski, RFH

It often sounds as though Richard Strauss makes the ascent of his Alpine Symphony in too many layers of clothes. Hopes were that Vladimir Jurowski and the London Philharmonic Orchestra would give us a characteristically sinewy, more lightly-clad...

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Françoise-Green Piano Duo, St John's Smith Square

Who wouldn't wish to have been a fly on the wall during those pre-recording days when composers and their friends played piano-duet arrangements of the great orchestral works? Any notion that we don't need such reductions anymore was swept aside by...

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Tsybuleva, Institut Français/TAM Estonia, St James Piccadilly

Cherrypicking from 17 concerts to come up with the one by last year's Leeds International Piano Competition winner may seem a bit unfair to the French Institute's ever more ambitious annual It's All About Piano! Festival. It was hard, for instance,...

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Seong-Jin Cho, St John's Smith Square, London

It’s always heartening to see a full house for a debut recital, though when expectations run so high, the stakes for the pianist can be dangerously raised. No worries at St John’s Smith Square, though, for Seong-Jin Cho. The diminutive, young South...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Pianist Boris Giltburg

London has been missing out on Boris Giltburg for too long. He's been playing Shostakovich concertos back to back with Petrenko in Liverpool, and the big Rachmaninov works up in Scotland (see theartsdesk's review today of the latest Royal Scottish...

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Goyescas, Khamis, Houston, National Gallery

"I fell in love with the psychology of Goya and his palette,” wrote brilliant composer-pianist Enrique Granados at the beginning of an evocative paean prefacing his six original Goyescas of 1909-11, finely-wrought gems of the piano repertoire. In...

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Hadland / Moser Brothers, Wigmore Hall

Prokofiev milestones stood proudly at the ends of the New Year’s first three major UK concert programmes. The Second Piano Sonata raged as the zenith of the composer’s generous enfant terrible period in Christian Ihle Hadland’s journey through two...

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Piano Circus, Juice Vocal Ensemble, Kings Place

It is not surprising that Piano Circus rarely play on six real pianos (although the photo on last night’s programme cover shows just that). The expense, the stage space required and the logistical complexity all militate against it. But the sound...

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