fri 19/12/2014

piano

Ohlsson, BBCSO, Oramo, Barbican

How disorienting it is to find century-old works in the concert repertoire of which you can still say “I’ve never heard anything like it”. That must have been the reaction of most audience members last night to Tuscan-German composer Ferruccio...

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Stefanovich, Currie, Queen Elizabeth Hall

Tamara Stefanovich and Colin Currie – a dream team for Birtwistle’s The Axe Manual. Both are new music specialists with a gift for grace and dexterity, even in the most complex works. The score sets up a range of sophisticated relationships between...

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Levit, LPO, Jurowski, Royal Festival Hall

If Brahms’s First Symphony has long been dubbed “Beethoven’s Tenth”, then the 23-year-old Rachmaninov’s First merits the label of “Tchaikovsky’s Seventh” (a genuine candidate for that title, incidentally, turns out to be a poor reconstruction from...

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Tsujii, RLPO, Petrenko, Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool

The knots on the purse-strings have certainly been untied at the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and it was good to hear another world première in less than a week. This time it was the turn of Michael Torke, the composer of Ecstatic Orange and Yellow...

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Leonskaja, SCO, Kamu, Usher Hall, Edinburgh

Most pianists never truly master one of Brahms’s two piano concertos, those colossal symphonies for soloist and orchestra, let alone both. To present the two in one concert, then, seems foolhardy – and apparently was when András Schiff went for the...

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Uchida, LSO, Haitink, Barbican Hall

You know what to expect from a standard programme of masterpieces like this, led by two great performers in careful control of their repertoire, and those expectations are never going to be disappointed. You’re not going to hear the kind of new-...

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Arcadi Volodos, Royal Festival Hall

Arcadi Volodos is a relatively rare visitor to London these days. Although the Russian pianist, 42, rose early to fame, his development has perhaps taken him in a direction that startles those who were initially seduced by the astounding virtuoso...

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Leonskaja/ Pires, Dumay, Meneses, Wigmore Hall

What a day for piano-lovers and Beethoven-lovers – Elisabeth Leonskaja for lunch, Maria João Pires for supper. Beethoven from both, stupendous playing from both, all in all generating a general sense of disbelief in this member of the audience...

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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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Simon Trpčeski, Wigmore Hall

No man is a prophet in his own land – except possibly the Macedonian pianist Simon Trpčeski. In the UK he shot to fame upon winning the London International Piano Competition in 2001 and at home he has become a national hero, his efforts rebooting...

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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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John Ogdon: Living with Genius / You've Got a Friend: The Carole King Story, BBC Four

It's something of a cliche to regard concert pianists as mad geniuses or nutty professors, and John Ogdon fitted the formula only too well. Born in Nottinghamshire in 1937, he displayed absurdly precocious musical brilliance as a child, and in due...

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