tue 18/06/2019

Classical Reviews

Sarah Chang, Ashley Wass, Cadogan Hall review – a virtuoso's disturbing 'inner game'

Sebastian Scotney

“My first recital in about a gazillion years in London!” wrote Sarah Chang a week ago for her 140,000 Twitter followers. “I usually work with orchestras whenever I'm in town so what an absolute joy+pleasure to be playing a duo program with piano!”

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Monteverdi Vespers, The Sixteen, Christophers, Cadogan Hall review – majesty on a modest scale

Gavin Dixon

The Monteverdi Vespers are usually a grand affair, but Harry Christophers showed they can work just as well on a smaller scale. Cadogan Hall has a dry acoustic, at least compared to St Mark’s Basilica, so there is little opportunity for billowing waves of choral declamation, echoing through the galleries.

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Grosvenor, Doric String Quartet, Milton Court review – a night to remember

Jessica Duchen

Imagine for a moment that you are at, say, the Derby. It’s pretty good. But then in flies Pegasus, the mythical winged horse. What happens?

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Schumann Series 3 & 4, LSO, Gardiner, Barbican review - upstanding brilliance

David Nice

Schumann revitalized by John Eliot Gardiner and the London Symphony Orchestra last year left us wanting more: namely two of the four symphonies (transcendently great, as it turns out from these revelatory performances).

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La Damnation de Faust, Hallé, Elder, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - 'concert opera' indeed

Robert Beale

Berlioz called it a "concert opera". His telling of the Faust story is in scenes and highly theatrical, but a bit of a challenge to put on in the theatre, with its marching armies, floating sylphs, dancing will-o’-the-wisps and galloping horses. It seems he expected it to be a kind of giant cantata, and that’s the way the Hallé and Sir Mark Elder perform it.

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Rachvelishvili, ROH Orchestra, Pappano, Royal Opera House review - perfect night and day

David Nice

There's now something of a gala atmosphere when the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House takes to the Covent Garden stage with its music director Antonio Pappano.

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Uchida, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, RFH review - togetherness in light and shade

Boyd Tonkin

When a pianist directs from the keyboard, the result can be a sedate affair: a matter of minimalist time-keeping while the soloist shows his or her fancy moves. Not so with Dame Mitsuko Uchida and her long-term partners, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. Clad in a sort of blue magician’s gown over severe black, Uchida – who has just turned 70 – stood to conduct, vigorously, the opening passages of last night’s two Mozart concertos at the Royal Festival Hall.

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Lupu, Philharmonia, Järvi, RFH review - concerto magical in parts, symphony stupendous

David Nice

Pianists most often cite Radu Lupu alongside Martha Argerich and Grigory Sokolov as the greatest. So it was hardly surprising to see so many top musicians in a packed audience, buzzing with expectation for the 73-year-old Romanian's most recent UK appearance with a conductor he respects, Paavo Järvi.

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Bach B minor Mass, BBCSO, Butt, Barbican review - large-scale losses and a few gains

David Nice

Practitioners of musical authenticity and scholarly research, so guarded and protective of their territory in the early days, now like to spread the love around.

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Kempf, Devin, St Petersburg Philharmonic, Sinaisky, Symphony Hall, Birmingham review - aglow but not alight

Miranda Heggie

In the fourth performance of their UK tour, with Vassily Sinaisky replacing an indisposed Yuri Temirkanov, the St Petersburg Philharmonic gave a warm and rousing performance at Symphony Hall, Birmingham.

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