wed 19/09/2018

Classical Reviews

RSNO, Oundjian, Usher Hall, Edinburgh review - ending on a high in Mahler

Miranda Heggie

Marking his departure as the Royal Scottish National Orchestra's Music Director after six years, Peter Oundjian definitely left on a high, conducting a gripping, visceral performance of Mahler’s last completed symphony.

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Bavarian State Orchestra, Kirill Petrenko, Barbican review - Mahler's Seventh as dance suite

David Nice

Serendipity as well as luxury saw to it that the night after Simon Rattle gave his farewell Festival Hall performance as music director of the Berlin Philharmonic, his imminent successor appeared over at the Barbican with another excellent German orchestra.

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Gringytė, Williams, CBSO, Gražinytė-Tyla, Symphony Hall, Birmingham review - living in the moment

Richard Bratby

How to judge a genius who died at 25? Gerald Larner, in his programme note for this concert by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, suggests that Lili Boulanger’s tragically early death was actually central to her achievement. She knew she probably wouldn’t see 30, and directed her energies accordingly.

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Berlin Philharmonic, Rattle, RFH review - everything but inscape

David Nice

Questions of interpretation apart, Simon Rattle has yet again proved the great connecter, this time in concerts separated by just over a month.

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Karen Cargill, Simon Lepper, Wigmore Hall review - opulence within bounds

David Nice

Singing satirist Anna Russell placed the French chanson in her category of songs for singers "with no voice but tremendous artistry". Mezzo Karen Cargill has tremendous artistry but also a very great voice indeed, a mysterious gift which makes her one in a thousand, and also rather good French (put that down to Scotland's "Auld Alliance, perhaps).

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The Rosenkavalier film, OAE, Paterson, QEH review - silent-era muddle expertly accompanied

David Nice

Let's face it, Robert "Cabinet of Dr Caligari" Wiene's 1926 film loosely based on Strauss and Hofmannsthal's 1911 "comedy for music" is a mostly inartistic ramble. Historically, though, it proves fascinating.

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Chopin's Piano, Tiberghien, Kildea, Brighton Festival review - mumbled words, magical music

David Nice

First the good news: Cédric Tiberghien, master of tone colour, lucidity and expressive intent, playing the 24 Chopin Preludes plus the Bach C major and the C minor Nocturne in the red-gold dragons' den of the Royal Pavilion's Music Room.

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BBC Young Musician 2018 Final, Symphony Hall, Birmingham review - sky-high standards

Gavin Dixon

The BBC Young Musician final was a big event in Birmingham. It drew a capacity audience to Symphony Hall, as enthusiastic, engaged and encouraging as any of the competitors could have wished. After the prodigious talent on show in the section finals, it was no surprise that the standards here were sky high.

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Pierre-Laurent Aimard, QEH review – taking Ligeti to extremes

Gavin Dixon

After Pierre-Laurent Aimard’s first concert in his weekend Ligeti festival at the Southbank, an innovative programme spanning influential contemporaries and new arrangements, this second was a more canonical affair: the three books of Piano Études presented in recital.

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Ligeti Chamber Music, QEH review - inventive celebration of iconic composer

Bernard Hughes

The mini-festival of György Ligeti’s music this weekend at the Queen Elizabeth Hall kicked off with a concert of chamber music that moved from a monumental first half to a second that was a delightful unbroken sequence of miniatures.

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