mon 13/07/2020

Classical Reviews

Ibragimova, LSO, Stutzmann, Barbican review – grace and gravity

Boyd Tonkin

Alina Ibragimova’s solo journey (in 2015) through the peaks and abysses of Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas gave me vivid Proms memories to treasure for a lifetime. The Russian-born violinist’s Bach abounds in both majesty and tenderness, as well as a consuming fire of intensity when the music so demands. She brought something of the same quality to her performance last night of Mendelssohn’s E minor concerto at the Barbican.

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Clarke, Ränzlöv, The Mozartists, Page, Wigmore Hall - young Mozart among the giants

David Nice

Assuming the world holds together that long, there will be something we can rely on annually all the way to 2041, the 250th anniversary of Mozart's death: among the celebrations each year, a Wigmore Hall concert like this one, placing Amadeus among the other composers of his time, great and small(er).

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Suzman, London Schools Symphony Orchestra, Edwards, Barbican review - a cabaret from hell

David Nice

The devil wore all manner of outlandish attire in last night's chameleonic programme devised by Peter Ash, the London Schools Symphony Orchestra's challenging artistic director.

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National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, Martín, Barbican review - songs of protest and resilience

David Nice

In youth we trust. That can be the only motto worth anything for 2020, as the world goes into further meltdown.

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Best of 2019: Classical concerts

David Nice

It says so much for the cornucopia of London's classical music scene alone that all five of the most recent concerts I've attended have made the long list for best of 2019. I'll settle for two.

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Ex Cathedra, Skidmore, Coventry Cathedral review - Christmas calm and contemplation

Miranda Heggie

As they celebrate their 50th year, Ex Cathedra have brought their much loved Christmas music by candlelight concerts to churches all across England, before giving five concerts in the run up to Christmas at St Paul’s in the Jewellery Quarter, in their home town of Birmingham.

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Hewitt, Clein, Aurora Orchestra, Ward, Kings Place review – rise and shine

Jessica Duchen

Why does music suddenly disappear? It is all the more heartening when a work as excellent and enjoyable as Louise Farrenc’s Symphony No 3 takes wing once more, but you do have to wonder how in the world such a terrific orchestral piece was permitted to sink and vanish in its day under a morass of dubious opera.

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Cargill, LSO, Pappano, Barbican review - high anxiety and visionary gleams

David Nice

What a jolting coincidence that one of the 20th century's angriest symphonic beasts should have a rare unleashing on a night of high national anxiety.

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Bauer, CBSO, Koenig, Symphony Hall Birmingham review - Christoph pulls it off

Richard Bratby

Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla’s programmes in Birmingham are so personal – so utterly bespoke – that in the event of her being indisposed, they present something of a problem. That’s what happened this week.

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Charpentier Christmas settings, Solomon's Knot, St John's Smith Square review - pastoral shades

David Nice

There is no mention of Marc-Antoine Charpentier in David Cairns's comprehensive Berlioz biography.

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