wed 22/11/2017

Ravel

Natalie Clein: 'The cello is part of my being'

The cello is so deeply engrained in my fingers, my imagination, it’s part of my being – my life would feel amputated without it. You fall in love with the instrument, the music, and then you embark on the life-long task of trying to get closer to...

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theartsdesk in Budapest: Prophecy in the world's best concert hall

August 1914, September 2001, all of 2016: these are the dates Hungary's late, great writer Péter Esterházy served up for the non-linear narrative of his friend Péter Eötvös's Halleluja - Oratorium Balbulum. Its Hungarian premiere in one of the world...

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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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Prom 67: Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra, Dudamel

Gone, it seems, is the era of epic three-part Proms. Sunday afternoon's programme, partly billed as a children's hour, might have pleased pianist and pundit Stephen Hough, whose recent broadsheet plea for shorter concerts somewhat overdid the need (...

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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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Cheltenham Music Festival 2016

It’s impossible to get the measure of the Cheltenham Music Festival in just one day. Lasting more than a fortnight, this is the festival that made the running in postwar British music: that helped put Malcolm Arnold and Robert Simpson on the map and...

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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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Cottier Chamber Project 2016, Glasgow

It should have been a complete disaster. Not announcing your festival’s programme until barely a week before it started ought to have guaranteed that nobody knew about it – no press, no audiences, other plans made, other things booked.But still they...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Ibert, Martinů, Ravel

Ibert: Orchestral music Orchestre de la Suisse Romande/Neeme Järvi (Chandos)Eighty-two minutes of Jacques Ibert’s music may seem a lot to digest in one go, but this disc provides nothing but unalloyed pleasure. One of a minority of French composers...

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Osborne, RSNO, Denève, Usher Hall, Edinburgh

“Bon soir, good evening! Nice to see you! To see you...” Four years after bidding an emotional farewell to the Usher Hall, the Gallic charmer is back, maybe slightly stouter, with a tinge of grey in a new beard, the great mop of curly red hair as...

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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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Vengerov, Saitkoulov, Barbican Hall

In 2007 Maxim Vengerov had to withdraw completely from violin playing, and stayed away for four years. He had suffered the after effects of a weight-lifting injury to his shoulder, and needed surgery. But he also described at the time that he felt...

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