fri 09/12/2016

piano

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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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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