sun 19/05/2024

Bach

Bach's Easter Oratorio, OAE, Whelan, QEH review - the joys of springtime

Waiting, and hoping, may prove just as intense an experience as the fulfilment of a wish – or of a fear. Bach knew that, and infused his Easter Week music with a sense of suspense and anticipation built into vocal and instrumental lines that build...

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Bach St John Passion, Dublin Bach Singers, Marlborough Baroque Orchestra, Murphy, St Ann's Church, Dublin - choral fire

Was it worth taking a risk on a more humbly presented St John Passion in Dublin after the best St Matthew I’m ever likely to hear (from Peter Whelan and the Irish Baroque Ensemble in St Patrick’s Cathedral)?The answer, post-performance, is yes:...

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Bach Passions, Dunedin Consort, Mulroy/Jeannin, St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral/Queen's Hall, Edinburgh review - twin peaks

The annual St Matthew Passion from the Dunedin Consort is one the most reliably beautiful jewels in Edinburgh’s musical year. They do the St John Passion much less frequently; in fact, this is the first time I’ve heard them do it, maybe motivated by...

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The Art of Fugue, Schiff, Nosrati, Wigmore Hall review - rarity and quality in music and performance

At the start of his 75-minute pre-concert lecture on Sunday, the incomparable András Schiff staked quite a claim for the piece he was about to perform: Bach’s The Art of Fugue was, he said: “the greatest work by the greatest composer who ever lived...

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St Matthew Passion, Irish Baroque Orchestra, Whelan, St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin review - fluency, fire and some jaw-dropping solos

After last year’s small-scale, big-impact Messiah in the Wigmore Hall, superlatives are again in order for the IBO’s performance of the greatest musical offering known to humankind. With the fluency established by that most supple of directors Peter...

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Classical CDs: Fringes, canons and contests

 Leif Ove Andsnes: The Warner Classics Edition 1990-2010 (Warner Classics)It’s good to review a compendious box set celebrating a musician who’s very much still around. The 36 discs in this set certainly aren’t what you’d call historical...

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Classical CDs: Smocks, sins and sea swell

 LICHT: 800 Years of German Lieder Anna Lucia Richter (mezzo-soprano), Ammiel Bushakevitz (hurdy gurdy, harpsichord, clavichord, fortepiano, piano) (SWR2/Challenge Classics)LICHT, 800 Years of German Lieder, from Anna Lucia Richter and Ammiel...

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Polyphony/OAE, Layton, St John's Smith Square review - truncated triumph

Prior to their Messiah, due this evening, Stephen Layton’s choir Polyphony brought a version of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio to the seasonal festival at St John’s Smith Square. You can of course slice and serve Bach’s majestic 1730s combination of...

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London Handel Players, Butterfield, Wigmore Hall review - Bach with bite for Christmas

We think of the Wigmore Hall as a venue for intimate revelations, but in the right hands it can feel like a stadium. Last night’s all-Bach programme of festive music from the London Handel Players managed to embrace both moods.On a bill that began...

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I Fagiolini, Hollingworth, St Martin-in-the-Fields review - it's not the Messiah...

“Nobody likes a Messiah…”, deadpanned Robert Hollingworth, with the timing of a practised stand-up. After a pause, “…more than I do.” At St Martin-in-the-Fields on Friday evening, however, the seasonal blockbuster did not, just for once, feature on...

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Voces8 Foundation Choir and Orchestra, Smith, Voces8 Centre review - joyous Christmas music by Bach

There’s a game called Whamageddon, where people see how deep into December they can go without hearing “Last Christmas”. I’m like that, but with the Bach Christmas Oratorio, and this year I made it four days. And who would want to wait any longer?...

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Lang Lang, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - playing with the music

The showman was back – and, bless him, he can still sell every seat in a big hall even if the programme offers close on an hour and a half of unalloyed Bach.Lang Lang’s gifts are phenomenal: he doesn’t just play music brilliantly, every now and then...

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