tue 19/06/2018

Bach

Bach Weekend, Barbican review - vivid and vibrant celebrations

John Eliot Gardiner was 75 in April, and to celebrate, the Barbican Centre staged a weekend devoted to his favourite composer. Gardiner himself provided the backbone of the event, three concerts of cantatas with his Monteverdi Choir and English...

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theartsdesk at the Leipzig Bach Festival: a cantata blockbuster

If you ever find yourself in Leipzig at a weekend during school term, the Bach motet (and occasionally cantata) performances in the great cantor’s old church, the Thomaskirche, are an absolute must. But if you happened to be in that city this...

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

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. Then the...

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theartsdesk in Kraków - Easter music with a British focus

Held annually every Holy Week, Kraków’s Misteria Paschalia is one of the continent’s most vibrant early music festivals. With an increasing focus on international collaborations, the 2018 edition welcomed Edinburgh’s Dunedin Consort as artists in...

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theartsdesk at the Lucerne Easter Festival: Haitink, Schiff and an alternative Passion

Anyone passionate about great conducting would jump at the chance to hear 89-year-old Bernard Haitink giving three days of masterclasses with eight young practitioners of the art, his eighth and possibly last series in Lucerne (though he's not...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Bach, Gibson, Gunge

Bach: French Suites Zhu Xiao-Mei (piano) (Accentus Music)The sheer perfection of Bach’s output can be unsettling, and faintly terrifying. So it's pleasing to find a musician who's so keen to highlight his friendlier, cuddlier side. Zhu Xiao-Mei...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Bach, Bennett, Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn

 Bach: Brandenburg Concertos 1-6 Berliner Barock Solisten/Reinhard Goebel (Sony)This set’s arrival sent me scurrying back to listen again to Reinhard Goebel's 1985 DG set of Bach’s Brandenburgs with Musica Antiqua Koln: hyperactive, sharp-...

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Bach Cantatas - not just for Christmas

Faced with yet another new work premiered by the Borodin Quartet, Shostakovich asked a daunting question: "but have you played all of Haydn's quartets yet?". Of course they hadn't, and felt justly rebuked. As a listener and sometime performer, I...

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Christmas Oratorio, LPO, Jurowski, RFH review - right piece, wrong place

Just when you can scarcely move for Messiahs, two Christmas Oratorios came along at once on Saturday night. That’s London concert schedules for you. While John Butt and his Dunedin Consort unwrapped four of the cantatas at the Wigmore Hall, Vladimir...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Christmas CDs, part 2

 Bach: Magnificat in E flat, Missa in F Monteverdi Choir, English Baroque Soloists/John Eliot Gardiner (SDG)John Eliot Gardiner first recorded Bach’s joyous Magnificat in the 1980s. This revisit gives us the work’s less familiar original...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Sofya Gulyak, The Prince Regent's Band, Esmerine

 Chaconne - Sofya Gulyak (piano) (Champs Hill Records)Traditionally, a chaconne is an instrumental piece in triple time with a continually repeating bass line. Sofya Gulyak, winner of the 2009 Leeds Piano Competition, gives us seven. Best known...

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András Schiff, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review – rigour and honesty

Intellectual rigour and emotional honesty are the rewarding qualities in András Schiff’s Bach playing. Virtuosity comes as standard, too. And you get value for your money – his programme all but filled two-and-a-half hours, and he was as completely...

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