tue 02/03/2021

Bach

Classical CDs: Dusty graveyards, bell sounds on pianos and a cold Cambridgeshire fen

 The Way of Light – The Music of Nigel Hess (Orchid Classics)You’ve probably heard Nigel Hess’s music without realising it. He’s scored multiple RSC productions and has provided incidental music for dozens of films and television programmes....

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Pavel Kolesnikov, Wigmore Hall online review - the joyful wisdom of the Goldbergs

Aside from the happy accident of longevity, something that set Bach and Handel and Telemann apart from their contemporaries was fluency. I’m speaking here of musical rather than verbal tongues: the least polyglot of them was Bach, with his command...

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Classical CDs: recorders, fishermen, Spanish nightlife and waltzes

 Bach: Sonatas for recorder, harpsichord and viola da gamba Michala Petri (recorder), Hille Perl (viola da gamba), Mahan Esfahani (harpsichord) (OUR Recordings)That these sonatas were originally composed by Bach for flute is surely of no...

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András Schiff, Wigmore Hall review - Bach in isolation

Amid madness, fear and death, there is still an oasis in the music of Bach - and Bach played by András Schiff in the Wigmore Hall is a special type of haven. Normally one can’t get in to those concerts because they are instantly sold out, even...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Christmas CDs 2020

 Bach: Christmas Oratorio Stuttgarter Hymnus-Chorknaben, Handel’s Company/Rainer Johannes Homburg (MDG)Another year, another new Bach Christmas Oratorio. Not that I’m complaining; this one is another zinger, up there with excellent contemporary...

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Brecon Baroque, Podger, Brecon Cathedral online review - Bach recoloured

Bach’s Goldberg Variations, written for harpsichord in about 1741 supposedly (or perhaps not) for a certain Johann Goldberg to play to the insomniac Count Keyserlingk, have enjoyed – or suffered – countless arrangements for other instruments,...

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First Person: harpsichordist Chad Kelly on reimagining Bach's Goldberg Variations

As musicians took tentative steps into the unfamiliar world of PPE, socially-distanced rehearsals and audiences watching from home on a computer screen, a common water-cooler question was, “What did you do during lockdown?”.  I am grateful to...

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Viktoria Mullova, Misha Mullov-Abbado, Fidelio Orchestra Cafe review - a rainbow of brilliant artistry

There should eventually be a plaque on the outside of the Fidelio Orchestra Café in Farringdon, to the effect that London’s musical life after lockdown re-ignited here. And how, in early July, with Steven Isserlis exuberantly stepping up to play...

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Bach’s The Art of Fugue, Angela Hewitt, Wigmore Hall – the many voices of humanity

How do they do it? Bach and Angela Hewitt, I mean, transfixing and focusing the audience in the Wigmore Hall – at home, too, hopefully, thanks to the livestreaming– through 13 and three-quarter fugues and four canons, all starting in the same key...

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Academy of St Martin in the Fields review - from solo meditations to collective celebrations

Clearly it takes peculiar circumstances for some of us to hear the Academy of St Martin in the Fields within its eponymous church – that’s a first for me. The lure was considerable. Quite apart from the relative dearth of live events in London, the...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Bach, Andrew Hamilton, Nielsen

 Bach Sean Shibe (guitar) (Delphian)The lute was mostly used as a continuo instrument during Bach’s lifetime though he did compose a small number of solo lute works. They were written using two-stave keyboard notation rather than traditional...

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Steven Isserlis, Fidelio Orchestra Café review – distilled reflection, joy and wit

What music would you choose to hear for your first live event after nearly four months of lockdown? For me, it would be Bach, and probably any one of the Cello Suites. Interpreter? Ideally, one of four living cellists – so the dream came true last...

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