tue 21/11/2017

Stravinsky

Stravinsky: Myths and Rituals 5, Philharmonia, Salonen, RFH

The Symphony of Psalms, which ended the Philharmonia’s Stravinsky series last night, is an indelible masterpiece, silencing the tired but persistent accusation that Stravinsky’s music is clever but cold. Abstract it may be, but suffused with an...

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Stravinsky: Myths and Rituals 4, Philharmonia, Salonen, RFH

Stravinsky's music, chameleonic yet always itself, offers so many lines of thought. One struck me immediately with the descending, even harp notes and tender, veiled strings at the start of his 1947 ballet Orpheus last night: the inexorable beat of...

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Jeremy Denk, Wigmore Hall

Medieval to Modern – Jeremy Denk’s Wigmore Hall recital took us on a whistle-stop tour of Western music, beginning with Machaut in the mid-14th century and ending with Ligeti at the end of the 20th. The programme was made up of 25 short works, each...

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Prom 29: NYO, Gardner/Prom 30: Kolesnikov, NYOS, Volkov

If the BBC were to plan a Proms season exclusively devoted to youth orchestras and ensembles, many of us would be delighted. Standards are now at professional level right across the board. 20 years ago, the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland...

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Prom 27: Kuusisto, BBCSSO, Dausgaard

Concert halls, as Gregg Wallace might observe if he ever went to one, don’t come much bigger than the Royal Albert Hall, nor violin concertos than the Tchaikovsky. Faced with this awesome combination, the temptation for a soloist is to play up to...

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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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Be With Me Now, Britten Studio, Snape

As the hand-held credits popped up on screen to pianist and musical director Manoj Kamps's superb quartet arrangement of Mozart's Magic Flute Overture, the European Union's Culture Programme logo brought a spontaneous burst of applause. Not the norm...

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Stravinsky: Myths & Rituals, Philharmonia, Salonen, St John’s Smith Square

I had been looking forward to last night's concert since it was first announced over a year ago. For a Stravinsky nut the chance to hear pieces whose live performances are vanishingly rare was not one to be missed. And it turns out there are enough...

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Stravinsky: Myths & Rituals, Philharmonia, Salonen, RFH

Looking past the ballets for Diaghilev, there are still many superb scores by Stravinsky honoured more in scholarship than performance. In Myths and Rituals, the Philharmonia addresses that lack of wider appreciation with five concerts from May to...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Maurice Greene, Mahler, Stravinsky

Maurice Greene: Overtures Baroque Band/Garry Clarke  (Cedille)Maurice Greene. Who? No worries: conductor Garry Clarke's notes fill in all the useful gaps. Greene was a prominent 18th century English composer, remembered by the well-...

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Hoopes, National Youth Orchestra, Järvi, RFH

On the panel to judge a competition between 14 Dutch school orchestras in Amsterdam's Concertgebouw last month, I couldn't resist using my speech to compare their state-school provenance with our own divisive musical education. I was thinking of two...

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Capuçon, RPO, Dutoit, Royal Festival Hall

Charles Dutoit gets the best from the Royal Philharmonic. He conducts with broad, sweeping gestures, and the orchestra responds with dramatic immediacy and vivid colours. This concert’s programme was well chosen to play to their shared strengths,...

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