sun 21/04/2019

Classical Reviews

Uchida, Connolly, Skelton, LPO, Jurowski, RFH review – songs of farewell

Peter Quantrill

Not all composers require the finger of mortality pointing at them to develop what becomes a late style. Charges of detachment and even indifference have been levelled at the B flat major Piano Concerto K595 which Mozart completed early in the year of his death, but Mitsuko Uchida’s playing of it on Saturday night was as refined, as weightless and translucent as her trademark silk tops.

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Psappha, Kok / Kempf, Northern Chamber Orchestra, Stoller Hall, Manchester review - new and old

Robert Beale

The Stoller Hall, the modest-size auditorium inside Chetham’s School of Music, is really proving itself to be the venue Manchester has long needed this season. Two concerts on successive days, each the first of a series and both making something of a statement, proved that.

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Lammermuir Festival 2018 review - a bigger buzz

David Kettle

There’s always been something of a buzz in the air at East Lothian’s Lammermuir Festival. It’s the feeling that it’s somehow a special privilege to discover its performances – whether they’re from international names or emerging artists, challenging, provocative and illuminating by turns – across the region’s exquisite and little-known churchs, halls, theatres and other venues.

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Ian Bostridge, Thomas Adès, Wigmore Hall review - haunting, brutal Schubert

Gavin Dixon

Winterreise brings out the best from Ian Bostridge, and the worst. His dedication to understanding and communicating its complex and harrowing text is everywhere apparent, and this was an emotionally draining evening.

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LSO, Rattle, Barbican Hall review - a mixed bag of British composers

Sebastian Scotney

A tradition seems to have been invented. First nights of the LSO’s seasons with Sir Simon Rattle as its Music Director start with a concert of music by British composers. The first one last year had Helen Grime, Thomas Adès, Birtwistle, Knussen and Elgar.

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Elisabeth Leonskaja, Wigmore Hall review - Mozart and Webern, anyone?

ismene Brown

“What is it about Mozart?” wondered the legendary pianist Sviatoslav Richter, pointing out the composer's frightening demands of accuracy and lucidity. Even though many pianists today command technique to spare, a Mozart fear factor tends to keep his sonatas off recital programmes.

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Kremer, CBSO, Wellber, Symphony Hall Birmingham review - supercharged Dvořák

Richard Bratby

A shrewd orchestra maintains a strong subs bench.

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Ax, Kavakos, Ma, Barbican review - all-star Brahms

Gavin Dixon

Expectations ran high for this recital, Brahms from an all-star piano trio of Emanuel Ax, Leonidas Kavakos and Yo-Yo Ma. The group has recently recorded the three Brahms piano trios for Sony, and this concert was part of a promotional tour of the US and Europe. The high-profile event also served to open the Barbican season.

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Prom 74, Theodora, Arcangelo, Cohen review - coherent and compelling Handel

Gavin Dixon

This was the first complete performance of Theodora at the Proms, one of a series of Handel oratorios initiated with William Christie’s Israel in Egypt last year. Theodora is more often performed today as a staged opera, most famously in the Peter Sellars production at Glyndebourne in the 1990s.

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Prom 72, War Requiem, RSNO, Oundjian review - the pity, and the spectacle, of war

Boyd Tonkin

A day after John Eliot Gardiner and wandering violist Antoine Tamestit had converted the Royal Albert Hall into a sonic map of Hector Berlioz’s Italy, conductor Peter Oundjian and his full-strength divisions transported us to the Western Front.

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