tue 25/02/2020

Classical Reviews

Gabetta, NHK SO, Järvi, RFH review - transparency and dynamism

Gavin Dixon

This concert represented the British leg of the NHK Symphony Orchestra’s European tour. Tokyo’s radio orchestra is Japan’s flagship ensemble, and they are fine advocates for the country’s thriving musical culture, the playing precise and the tone focused.

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Joanna MacGregor, Adrian Brendel, Gildas Quartet, Wigmore Hall review - gold and silver

David Nice

Startlingly high levels of expression and focused fire made this rich concert worthy of the dedicatee who radiated those qualities, Jacqueline du Pré.

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Aimard, Gürzenich-Orchester Köln, Roth, RFH review - Beethoven as avant-gardist

David Nice

In Beethoven anniversary year, there are three ways to enhance our ongoing concert dialogues with the composer beyond the bog-standard overture-concerto-symphony format: complete cycles of the quartets, symphonies and sonatas, preferably without old vulgarians presenting; focusing on Beethoven and his contemporaries, including programmes recreated from the early 1800s; and linking the genius with what our...

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Andsnes, Mahler Chamber Orchestra Soloists, Wigmore Hall review - conversations with Mozart

Boyd Tonkin

Leif Ove Andsnes’s long-term partnership with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra has already yielded rich fruit, and the Mozart quartets and trio he performed last night with members of the top-notch nomad band proved just as succulent. However, I would hardly have been alone in leaving the Wigmore Hall with my strongest impressions stirred by the single solo work that the versatile Norwegian master-pianist allowed himself.

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Mahler's 'Resurrection' Symphony, Philharmonia, Hrůša, RFH review - big picture, stunning details

David Nice

So many performances of Mahler's most theatrical symphony every season, so few conductors who have something radically fresh to say about it.

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Frang, CBSO, Yamada, Symphony Hall Birmingham review - the tingle factor

Richard Bratby

There’s a particular moment of a particular recording – I suppose every slightly over-obsessive record collector has one – that I just keep listening to over and over again. It’s in Fritz Reiner’s 1960 Chicago Symphony recording of Respighi’s The Fountains of Rome, and it comes right after the first flood of the Triton Fountain starts to recede.

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Michael Collins, Michael McHale, London Winds, Wigmore Hall review - flying the flag for wind chamber music

Bernard Hughes

In a week when my colleague Jessica Duchen was delighted by the Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective, last night’s concert, also at Wigmore Hall, by Michael Collins and London Winds showed that chamber music with winds need not be the poor relation of that with strings.

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Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective, Wigmore Hall review - a joyous celebration

Jessica Duchen

Nobody could deny that this was a weekend when we needed cheering up. The place for that was the Wigmore Hall, which played host to a recently formed “shape-shifting” ensemble of superb young soloists. The Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective was launched in 2017 by the violinist Elena Urioste and pianist Tom Poster (incidentally, they got married last summer).

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Elysian Singers, SPCMH, Sam Laughton, St Luke’s, Chelsea review - John Cage and friends given a rare airing

Bernard Hughes

In my reviewing for theartsdesk I like as much as possible to ski off-piste, reaching areas of repertoire, performer and venue that mainstream coverage doesn't. There is much great music-making that flies, to mix my metaphors, under the radar, but which is well worthy of being written about.

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Acis and Galatea, The Sixteen, Christophers, Cadogan Hall review – pocket-sized pastoral pleasures

Boyd Tonkin

Nymphs and shepherds – go away? In music, as in art or literature, the pastoral fripperies of the Baroque age can feel utterly alien to modern tastes. Those dalliances, seductions and abductions in the Arcadian landscapes of myth may cease to entice in an era that takes sexual violence seriously, while we scorn play-acting toffs who ape the lifestyle of some idealised peasantry, Marie Antoinette-style.

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