wed 20/11/2019

Classical Reviews

London Mozart Players, Davan Wetton, St Giles Cripplegate - rousing Shakespearean revel

Bernard Hughes

The festival Summer Music in City Churches is in only its second year, filling a gap left by the demise of the long-running City of London Festival.

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Ax, Keenlyside, Dover Quartet, Wigmore Hall review – celebratory Schumann

Gavin Dixon

Emanuel Ax here celebrated his 70th birthday with an all-Schumann recital. In fact, it was an all-Schumann marathon, a three-hour concert at Wigmore Hall featuring solo works, Dichterliebe with Simon Keenlyside, and, with the Dover Quartet, the Piano Quartet and the Piano Quintet.

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Treatise Project, Goldsmiths review - potent symbols reveal rich music potential

Gavin Dixon

Treatise by Cornelius Cardew is the defining work of the graphic notation movement.

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LSO, Guildhall School, Rattle, Barbican review - irresistible momentum

Peter Quantrill

The Barbican Hall hardly boasts the numinous acoustic of Gloucester Cathedral for which Vaughan Williams composed his Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis, but Sir Simon Rattle has long known how to build space into the architecture of what he conducts.

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Goodyear, Chineke! Orchestra, Marshall, Symphony Hall, Birmingham Review - engaging and uplifting

Miranda Heggie

Having played their first concert just four years ago, the Chineke! Orchestra gave a rousing, exuberant performance for an ensemble still in its infancy. It’s a young orchestra, not just in the sense of only being founded a few years ago, but one that comprises many young players too. Though its youthful passion and energy was very much to the fore, there were some points in Edvard Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite No 1 when a lack of experience let them down.

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Kozhukhin, RPO, Petrenko, RFH review - more cultured than electrifying

David Nice

With two German giants roaring - Brahms in leonine mode, Richard Strauss more with tongue in armour-plated cheek - it could have all been too much.

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Morison, Williams, RLPO, Davis, Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool review – a vision of near perfection

Glyn Môn Hughes

It wasn’t really the orchestra’s night.  Nor the soloists'. Nor, even, the conductor's. The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir totally stole the show, well surpassing the incredibly high standards which they already regularly attain and performing not as a large symphonic chorus but as a something akin to one of the highly specialist choirs with which this country is blessed.

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Philharmonia, Salonen, RFH review – bittersweet Berlin

Boyd Tonkin

Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Philharmonia kicked off their series of concerts devoted to the edgy culture of the Weimar Republic with a programme that featured three works (out of four) derived in some way from the musical stage. That included, as a rip-roaring finale, the conclusion to Shostakovich’s football-themed ballet from 1930, The Golden Age.

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Kuusisto, Aurora Orchestra, Collon, Birmingham Town Hall review - aural voyage through space

Miranda Heggie

It’s quite a weighty concept, and one which could easily have buckled had both the music and its execution not been of the highest quality. Aurora Orchestra’s "Music of the Spheres" was a concert inspired by the Greek philosopher Pythagoras’s theory that each of the planets in our solar system must emit a particular sound through its orbit.

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Williams, BBC Philharmonic, Wigglesworth, Bridgewater Hall Manchester review - vision before gloom

Robert Beale

The BBC Philharmonic have given memorable accounts of Shostakovich’s Symphony No 4 in Manchester before – notably conducted by Günther Herbig in 2010 and by John Storgårds in 2014 – but surely none as harrowingly grim as under Mark Wigglesworth this time.

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