sun 16/06/2024

Classical Reviews

Ian Bostridge, Antonio Pappano, Wigmore Hall

alexandra Coghlan

Ian Bostridge is one of those artists – Andreas Scholl is another – whose technique is so suited to the recording studio, his recordings so ubiquitously loved and lived-with, that the opportunity to see him perform live has become one of conflict.

Read more...

Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Fischer, Royal Festival Hall

Edward Seckerson

Rossini provided the lively curtain-raisers to both halves of this Chamber Orchestra of Europe concert, streamed live to Aberdeen where Shell, the sponsors, have something of a vested interest in keeping their employees entertained. The liquid gold on this occasion was of the legato variety and not one but two Fischers ensured that it flowed freely and purposefully. Ivan Fischer is quite simply one of the most perceptive and persuasive conductors on the planet; Julia Fischer (no...

Read more...

Arditti Quartet, Bath Festival

stephen Walsh

To launch a music festival with the Arditti Quartet, as Bath has just almost done (a pair of dance events preceded them), is a bold enough gesture, if no bolder than for the Arditti to open up their Assembly Rooms concert with Beethoven’s Grosse Fuge – a finisher if ever there was one. But for this particular group, late Beethoven might well seem like a kind of starting point. Beethoven was the first to write unplayable music for string quartet; and the Arditti have always specialised in the...

Read more...

Lawrence Brownlee, Iain Burnside, St John's, Smith Square

Edward Seckerson Lawrence Brownlee: a winning and seductive combination of vocal agility and beauty

We might have expected that the rising young bel canto tenor Lawrence Brownlee would include “Ah! Mes amis… Pour mon âme” from Donizetti’s La fille du régiment (that’s the number with the nine top Cs) in his Rosenblatt recital at St John’s, Smith Square – but what we might not have anticipated, after so taxing a programme as this, was...

Read more...

Madrigals and Scarlatti, Lufthansa Baroque Festival

Igor Toronyi-Lalic

"Is it music or just a bit weird?" Robert Hollingworth, director of Baroque vocal specialists I Fagiolini, was posing the question of Gesualdo, the infamous oddball composer of the late 16th century - a sort of musical Caravaggio - whose capricious way with just about every aspect of composition (and social norms: he was a murderer) made him a poster boy for the 20th century. It's a question, however, that could quite easily apply to any great pioneer. The best music is always on the cusp...

Read more...

Philip Glass Ensemble, Koyaanisqatsi, The Dome, Brighton

Thomas H Green

One of the hottest tickets at this year's Brighton festival is Godfrey Reggio's 1983 film Koyaanisqatsi accompanied by live soundtrack performance from the Philip Glass Ensemble. Sold out for weeks beforehand, there are touts outside but most of the middle-aged Bohemian audience seem to have bought their tickets well in advance. The reason it's such a draw is that Koyaanisqatsi is a cult whose enthusiasts are multifarious.

Read more...

MacMillan premiere, Repin, LSO, Gergiev, Barbican Hall

David Nice

"There is not one idea," wrote that intemperate critic Eduard Hanslick about Richard Strauss's Till Eulenspiegel, "that does not get its neck broken by the speed with which the next lands on its head." Rather a compliment, I've always thought, and certainly so as applied to James MacMillan's new Violin Concerto. As soloist Vadim Repin and conductor Valery Gergiev whirled us tumultuously through its hyperactive songs and dances, there was so much I wanted to savour, to hear again.

Read more...

Christian & Tanja Tetzlaff, Leif Ove Andsnes, Wigmore Hall

Ismene Brown Christian Tetzlaff: 'with his light clean tone he sounded not like a celebrated soloist but a melder, a listener and a joiner-in'

Chamber music is a highly motivational experience - here is a group of instruments of quite different qualities parading, fighting, ganging up, inviting each other’s new ideas, dialoguing, and all this variety heightening the build-up to the moment when all instruments proclaim unanimity in a grand finish, or (even better) huddle up in mutual creative conspiracy and conjure a mysterious little spell that makes the outsider long to be part of it. All of which was present last night in both the...

Read more...

Resonances at the Wallace Collection

joe Muggs 'Classical babe' Natalie Clein is expressive with Walton and Bach

It's an admirable project: to recast the interiors of stately homes as immersive artworks, a musical recital combined with sound installations designed to make the viewer look anew at their surroundings. Certainly as I entered the hallway of Hertford House in Marylebone, where the Wallace Collection is housed, the rich, shifting tones of Simon Fisher Turner's electronic sound manipulations filled the air like perfume, amplifying the opulence of the surroundings and making me – and others –...

Read more...

Leonskaja, BBCSO, Bĕlohlávek, Barbican Hall

David Nice

Fantasies in apparent freefall, though in fact ruthlessly organised and blindingly well executed, were the name of last night's game - an endgame, as it happened, to the BBC Symphony Orchestra's hardest-working Barbican season before the marathon of the Proms.

Read more...

Pages

latest in today

Music Reissues Weekly: Margo Guryan - Words and Music

Late summer 1966. Jazz was Margo Guryan’s thing. She was not interested in pop music. This changed when she was played The Beach Boys’s “God Only...

Bach's Mass in B Minor, Collegium Vocale Gent, Herreweg...

There’s a masterful subtlety to Philippe Herreweghe’s interpretation of Bach’s last great choral work – it shuns blazing transcendence for a sense...

Sorcery review - a tale of shapeshifting revenge

Islands off the coast of southern Chile, to the Spanish and German settlers of the 19th century, represented the edge of the world. To the...

The Moor review - Yorkshire chiller is ambitious but muddled

A number of films in recent years have added a distinctly local flavour to the folk-horror genre. Mark Jenkin was inspired by...

Album: John Moreland - Visitor

The mournful, lonesome voice of John Moreland from Bixby, Oklahoma, will be known by a few, but not many, in this country. The 12 songs on his...

Smashing Pumpkins / Weezer, OVO Hydro, Glasgow review - doub...

The current trend for package tours with two headliners appears to be growing, and this jaunt presented somewhat unlikely bedfellows – the...

Àma Gloria review - small-scale triumph with a big emotional...

In Marie Amachoukeli’s Àma Gloria there’s a remarkable performance by a child actor, Louise...

Susquatch Sunset review - nature red in tooth and claw (albe...

There’s a category of movies that are best seen having read nothing about them. Susquatch Sunset falls into that blood group as...

Jazz Emu, Soho Theatre review - delightfully daft musical sp...

Jazz Emu bounds on to the stage, launching into a song that talks about the importance of team work and how he has no ego. But strangely enough,...

Album: Moby - Always Centered at Night

US electronic perennial Moby has had a good run. He was a rave...