sun 18/08/2019

Bach

theartsdesk in Bergen: Gothic shocks and Romantic treats

Ole Bull sounds like some legendary gun-slinging hero of the Wild West. A legend he definitely was, and he spent long enough in the US to found a migrant community in Pennsylvania. But the Norwegian virtuoso (1810-1880) made his name not with a...

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theartsdesk in Gothenburg: concert-hall storytelling rivets at the Point Music Festival

There was a special celebratory aura to the start of Swedish city Gothenburg's first Point Festival. Earlier in the week its Symphony Orchestra's Chief Conductor, electrifying Finn Santtu-Matias Rouvali, had not only announced a renewed contract...

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Igor Levit, Wigmore Hall review – full-spectrum Bach from a prodigious talent

You seldom hear a Champions League-level roar of approval at the Wigmore Hall. Last night, though, Igor Levit drew a throaty collective bark of appreciation from the audience after (for once) an awed hush had followed the final dying cadences of the...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Bach, Jess Gillam, Neeme Järvi

 Bach: The Cello Suites Alban Gerhardt (Hyperion)Alban Gerhardt looks as if he's hewn from granite in Adam Markowski’s superb cover photograph here. Even his Matteo Goffriller cello looks like it's been through the wars. Gerhardt tells us in...

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Mitten wir im Leben sind, De Keersmaeker, Queyras, Rosas, Sadler's Wells review - Bach-worthy genius

All Bach is dance, a teacher once told me. The justifiable exaggeration switched on a light; leaping to the Brandenburg Concertos followed. This great work of kinetic art is of a different order. Choreographer and performer Anne Teresa De...

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St Matthew Passion, Ex Cathedra, Skidmore, Symphony Hall Birmingham - powerful, poignant Bach

For the final instalment of their three Matthew Passions this Holy Week, Ex Cathedra gave a large scale performance of Bach’s oratorio in their home town on Birmingham, after dates with lesser forces in London and Bristol. With an augmented...

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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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