sat 01/10/2022

Bach

The Goldberg Variations, De Keersmaeker, Kolesnikov, Sadler's Wells review - keyboard harmony and atonal dance

Jean-Guihen Queyras and five dancers of Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s Rosas company in the Bach Cello Suites was a thing of constantly evolving wonder. So too is Pavel Kolesnikov’s ongoing dialogue with Bach’s Goldberg Variations, different every...

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Prom 57, Bach Mass in B Minor, OAE, Butt review - passion and precision

A strong team of musical chefs can blend and spice Bach’s mighty Mass in B Minor in a variety of different ways, and still prepare a feast to savour. We don’t know exactly why Bach felt compelled to bundle his decades of genius into this late...

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Prom 5, Power, BBC Philharmonic, Mena review - detail and breadth

I had anticipated a sweltering evening at the Albert Hall. Sadly, though, the heatwave prevented me from even getting there – buckled rails or some similar problem led to the cancellation of my train. So this review is of the Radio 3 broadcast,...

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theartsdesk at the Dublin International Chamber Music Festival - extraordinary women to the fore

The organisation now proudly and legitimately re-named the Dublin International Chamber Music Festival may be half a century old – of its 52 seasons, those of the two lockdown years can be lopped off the live reckoning – but its outlook is youthful...

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Classical CDs: mediation, survival and the conquering of shyness

 Karel Ančerl: Live Recordings (Supraphon)Karel Ančerl’s nascent conducting career was interrupted by World War II, Ančerl and his family being sent to the Theresienstadt camp in 1942. Two years later, he and his family were sent to Auschwitz....

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Classical CDs: Forests, mountains, cowbells and cushions

 Jugendstil: Music by Mahler and Schoenberg Beatrice Berrut (piano) (La Dolce Volta)“Is transcription betrayal?” asks pianist Beatrice Berrut in her booklet essay. Emphatically not, Berrut seeing transcription as “an act of homage to the genius...

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Esfahani, CBSO, Morlot, Symphony Hall Birmingham review - ghostly enchantments

Bent Sørensen has christened his new harpsichord concerto Sei Anime: “six souls”. The six concise movements, written for Mahan Esfahani and a chamber-sized orchestra, are modelled, apparently, on the dance movements of a Bach keyboard suite. But as...

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Six Brandenburgs: Six Commissions, Chamber Domaine, Malling Abbey review - metaphysical brilliance

"Contemporary classical", for want of a better term, works best in concert as a cornucopia of shortish new works offering a healthy range of styles and voices. Add to the mix six of the most exhilarating and original chamber concertos ever, by no...

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First Person: composer Michael Price on responding to Bach's Second Brandenburg Concerto

There are lots of ways that we respond to great works of art – intellectually and emotionally, then visually, aurally and even by taste and smell, depending on the art in question. I have a habit of screwing my eyes tight shut and bringing to mind a...

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Classical CDs: Bounce, bluster and Blätter

 JS Bach: Magnificat, CPE Bach: Magnificat Gaechinger Cantorey/Hans-Christoph Rademann (Accentus Music)Coupling this pair of Magnificat settings on a single CD makes so much sense. JS Bach’s 1723 Magnificat is wonderfully served here, Hans-...

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St John Passion, English Touring Opera, Lichfield Cathedral review - free-range Bach doesn't quite add up

JS Bach’s Passions as music theatre? Well, why not? Whatever the aura of untouchability around these works, they were always conceived as part of a bigger picture: a communal sacred ritual in which the divide between performer and audience wasn’t so...

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Angela Hewitt, Wigmore Hall review - grand tour in a luxury vehicle

The four years of Angela Hewitt’s globe-trotting “Bach Odyssey” confirmed time and again that she brings a nonpareil artistry and authority to the most demanding, and rewarding, of all keyboard repertoires. Yet the Canadian pianist, as we already...

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