fri 19/04/2019

Bach

Bach St John Passion, OAE, Rattle, RFH review – earnest devotions

We live in a secular age, or so we’re told. Yet we seem to need rituals, the age-old practice and province of religion, as much as ever. It is the achievement of Peter Sellars and Sir Simon Rattle to present one without the other in their concert...

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Bach St John Passion, Les Arts Florissants, Christie, Barbican review – sombre but engaging

William Christie kicked off Passion season in London this year with a particularly sombre reading of the St John. The veteran conductor brought his French choir and orchestra, Les Arts Florissants, and a line-up of relatively young soloists to the...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Bach, Lyatoshynsky, esbe

 Bach: Cello Suites 1, 2 & 3 Amit Peled (CTM Classics)Pablo Casals famously recorded Bach’s six Cello Suites in 1936, his accounts largely responsible for changing public perceptions of these works. Previously regarded as little more than...

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

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. So if an amateur choir of 100-plus like the BBC Symphony Chorus, celebrating its 90th...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Adventures in Sound, Tora Augestad, Ashley Fripp

 Adventures In Sound (él records)Dipping in and out of this highly desirable box set recalls 1950s sci-fi visions of the future, looking forward to a time when we'd all be driving flying cars and living under a benevolent one-world government....

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Mahan Esfahani / Richard Goode, Wigmore Hall review - clarity and contrast from two keyboard masters

Two successive nights, two contrasted solo keyboard recitals at the Wigmore Hall: not great for the knees but marvellous for the soul. On Saturday the Tehran-born, US-raised harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani continued a mammoth project: he has been...

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The English Concert, Bicket, Wigmore Hall review – small-scale Bach

It’s Christmas already at Wigmore Hall. Or advent at least – this concert of Bach Advent cantatas was presented by the English Concert without apology or qualification, despite it still being the middle of November. But it proved a welcome fillip...

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Car, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Tognetti, Milton Court review - a rattlebag of happy collaborations

Presenting the last Mozart symphonies as a three-act opera for orchestra, as Richard Tognetti and his febrile fellow Australians did on Monday, was always going to be a supreme challenge. It worked, as Boyd Tonkin reported here. Since then, the...

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Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier - Book 2, Hewitt, Wigmore Hall review – high drama in 24 short acts

Bach specialists like to explain that the second book of preludes and fugues in The Well-Tempered Clavier, composed around 1740 and thus almost two decades after the first, draws on more of the fancy and daring “modern” music of its time than its...

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theartsdesk Q&A: guitarist Sean Shibe

First it was the soft acoustic guitar playing, which on three occasions to three very different audiences won a silence so intense it was almost deafening. Then the loud electric, first heard in Anstruther's Dreel Halls as part of the 2017 East Neuk...

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theartsdesk at Itinéraire Baroque 2018 - canaries in front of a Périgord altar

Brits are the folk you expect to encounter the most in the rural-England-on-steroids of the beautiful Dordogne. In my experience they outnumber the French, at least in high summer, not just as visitors and retired homeowners but also as artisans...

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Proms 29 / 30, Swedish Chamber Orchestra, Dausgaard review - Bach Brandenburgs and beyond

A complex Swedish product to unpack, this one. Someone in the BBC must have worked out that it could do with a detailed instruction manual to help people with the task: the programme booklet duly ran to a full 50 pages.There were two sets of...

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