fri 20/01/2017

piano

Bavouzet, BBCPO, Collon, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

Colin Matthews’s arrangements for orchestra of the 24 Debussy Préludes (originally commissioned by the Hallé) have been widely admired. The BBC Philharmonic’s concert, conducted by Nicholas Collon, at the Bridgewater Hall on Friday night began with...

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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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Douglas, LSO, Søndergård, Barbican

Thomas Søndergård stood in for this concert at a day’s notice – Valery Gergiev is apparently recovering from a knee operation and unable to travel. He left behind a curious programme, centred around Prokofiev’s quirky but dour Sixth Symphony. It’s a...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Pianist Idil Biret at 75

Has any living pianist had a richer or more charmed life than Idil Biret? As a child prodigy she studied in Paris with Nadia Boulanger and Alfred Cortot, and both there and in Germany with Wilhelm Kempff. At the age of four she was reproducing Bach...

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Isserlis, Mustonen, Wigmore Hall

For a BBC Radio 3 lunchtime's hour of music, cellist Steven Isserlis's latest collaboration with that most individual of pianists Olli Mustonen went astonishingly deep. The surprises were equal in its two halves - the first a through-conceived...

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First Person: Nico Muhly on music for two pianos

Writing for two pianos is something that – until last year – I had not attempted. I was contacted by Katya Apekisheva and Charles Owen, two pianists who have performed as a duo for many years, asking me to compose a duet for them to perform at the...

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Prom 71: Trifonov, Staatskapelle Dresden, Thielemann

Soft power in the shape of cultural ambassadors can go a long way. With a little help from its big guns in banking and industry, Germany has given this year's Proms no less than four of its major orchestras – from Leipzig, two from Berlin, and now...

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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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theartsdesk at the Rosendal Festival: Schubert above a fjord

More than just a great and serious pianist, Leif Ove Andsnes is a Mensch. His special gift in recent years has been to bring young musicians just establishing their careers together with star players like himself in beautiful and/or interesting...

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Prom 43: Argerich, West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, Barenboim

It's not so long since Daniel Barenboim sat around a table with Israeli officials telling him that Wagner couldn't be played in the homeland when someone's mobile fanfared the "Ride of the Valkyries", demolishing the opposition's case. At the...

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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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