thu 02/04/2015

piano

Ronald Stevenson (1928-2015): A virtuoso remembered

Ronald Stevenson, who died on Saturday at the age of 87, was a composer and pianist who will be much missed both in the small Borders village where he lived and by the much larger musical community in Scotland and beyond. As a composer he was...

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Bronfman, LPO, Jurowski, RFH

Over the past two Saturdays, Vladimir Jurowski and a London Philharmonic on top form have given us a mini-festival of great scores for Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes. The hallucinogenic vision of ancient Greece in Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloé last week was...

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Wang, LSO, Tilson Thomas, Barbican

Michael Tilson Thomas is in town to celebrate his 70th birthday. And he's with old friends – he’s been working with the London Symphony since 1970, including six years as principal conductor. There is still plenty of chemistry here, and the...

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Lane, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Manze, RFH

Andrew Manze chose an all-English programme for his debut with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Clarity of texture and disciplined, propulsive tempos are the hallmarks of his conducting, the results of many years as a violinist and ensemble leader...

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Donohoe, BBCSSO, Prieto, City Halls, Glasgow

Shock and Shakespeare were the two forces that powered a typically thoughtful programme from the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. I said as much in a pre-performance talk where the links weren’t hard to find: that also means coming clean at the...

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Colli, BBCSO, Oramo, Barbican Hall

Was 1911 the best ever year for music? Works premiered or composed then include Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier, Stravinsky’s Petrushka, Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde and the Tenth Symphony he’d completed in outline by the time of his death that May,...

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Scriabin Anniversary Recital, Ohlsson, Wigmore Hall

Of Alexander Nikolayevich Scriabin, who died 100 years ago aged 43, it was said at one time (by Rimsky-Korsakov) that he was “warped, a poser and opinionated”, at another (by Boris Pasternak) that he could seem “as tranquil and lucent as God resting...

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Best of 2014: Classical Concerts

Offshoots of the Venezuelan El Sistema’s worldwide dissemination as well as other youth and music projects continued to bloom and grow in 2014. The morning after what was the orchestral concert of the year for many who caught it, Alexandra Coghlan (...

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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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