thu 27/04/2017

Wigmore Hall

Janina Fialkowska, Wigmore Hall

You wouldn’t guess it from her name, but Janina Fialkowska isn’t actually Polish. You wouldn’t guess from her Chopin either, which is sensitive and supple, always emotive and deeply idiomatic. The Canadian pianist (her father was Polish) has...

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Debussy Préludes, Alexander Melnikov, Wigmore Hall

Who needs hallucinogenic drugs when we have Debussy's two books of Préludes? In the hands, that is, of a pianist magician who holds the key to this wild parade, demi-real wonderland, call it what you will. I've only heard two wizards equal to the...

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Alceste, Early Opera Company, Curnyn, Wigmore Hall

A wife dies to save her husband; a hero goes to hell and back to retrieve her from the underworld. Nothing of this dark myth, other than a rollicking row across the Styx from a bass singing Charon, ferryman of the dead, remains in Handel's...

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Tara Erraught, Ulrich Pluta, James Baillieu, Wigmore Hall

As a scan through the 17-year list of Rosenblatt Recitals quickly reveals, sopranos and tenors come and (often as not) go. Much rarer is the opportunity to enjoy the gifts of a mezzo-soprano near the start of what should, all things being equal, be...

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Isabelle Faust, Alexander Melnikov, Wigmore Hall

Polish composer Szymanowski's Ovid triptych Mythes achieved something like cult status thanks to an iridescent recording. Everyone knew the pianist, the great Krystian Zimerman; the violinist, Kaja Danczowska, less so (where is she now?). A better-...

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Gauvin, Le Concert de la Loge, Chauvin, Wigmore Hall

Canadian soprano Karina Gauvin has one of the most beautiful voices in the business – a glinting crystal blade sheathed in velvet. She wields it with skill, darting swiftly with coloratura one minute, before stabbing deep with emotion the next. In...

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Elisabeth Leonskaja, Wigmore Hall

Restlessness in a good sense was the keynote of Elisabeth Leonskaja's latest revelatory recital. At 71, the Russian pianist, now an Austrian citizen, has all the supreme mastery it takes to make the volatility work: perfect weight and balance,...

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Summerfield, Jackson, Riches, Classical Opera, Page, Wigmore Hall

Young Amadeus is growing up in real time with MOZART 250, Classical Opera's ambitious 26-year project following its hero's creative life from childhood to the grave. 2015's start, marking two and a half centuries since the boy wonder's first visit...

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St Lawrence String Quartet, Wigmore Hall

John Adams, let's face it, was the reason many of us came to hear the St. Lawrence String Quartet. Their performances and recordings as dedicatees of his labyrinthine First String Quartet and Absolute Jest, in which the four players function as...

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Igor Levit, Wigmore Hall

Igor Levit began his recording career with Beethoven’s last three piano sonatas, and his deeply felt, impressively mature readings made his name. Now he is performing a full cycle at the Wigmore Hall, and his take on the earlier sonatas turns out to...

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Borodin Quartet, Wigmore Hall

The Borodin Quartet has been playing for over 70 years, and in the early days collaborated closely with Dmitri Shostakovich. None of the players from then are in the line-up now, of course, but the group has worked hard to maintain its distinctive...

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Jamie Barton, Wigmore Hall

American mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton has a wonderful, characterful voice, with apparently effortless and even tone production and control. She seems to be able to spin out a quiet phrase – and just hold it for ever.The past few years have seen...

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