thu 18/04/2024

BBCSO

Malofeev, BBCSO, Lintu, Barbican review - finesse as well as fireworks

This was a muesli programme: nutty, crunchy, just sweet enough, its success lying in the balance of the various ingredients. At times, such was the explosiveness of the playing, it felt like popping candy had been added to the muesli, but in a good...

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Morison, Immler, BBCSO, Bychkov, Barbican review - a Kafka journey and a mighty landmark

The German composer Detlev Glanert, taught by Hans Werner Henze and a past collaborator with Oliver Knussen, received a Proms commission as far back as 1996. He remains, it might be fair to say, a shadowy presence here despite his prominence back...

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Prom 65: Bruckner's Eighth, BBCSO, Bychkov review - a friendly giant

Bruckner's behemoth has always had its fervent champions – and its muttering sceptics. The 85-odd minutes of his Eighth Symphony, finally performed after major revisions in 1892, build into a titanic testament. Advocates read into it enough...

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Prom 27: Wang, Hampson, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Mäkelä review - glittering night with music’s golden couple

Yuja Wang and Klaus Mäkelä, two of the classical world’s biggest hitters, have recently united to make that even more powerful item, the “power couple”. But much as they are both photogenic and charismatic, their reputations are also based on...

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Prom 14: Lisiecki, BBCSO, Chan - fine textures and subtle delights

One of the undoubted highlights of Prom 14 was unprogrammed – following his commanding performance of Beethoven’s third piano concerto, Jan Lisiecki returned to the stage to give an encore of Chopin’s Nocturne in E Flat, Opus 9 No 2.There was a rapt...

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Yang, BBCSO, Oramo, Barbican review - roots and refinement

In today’s Britain, too many concert reviews have to begin with the vandalistic threats of damage or extinction that hang over their performers. Last week, it emerged that the BBC’s bosses may be open to negotiate an alternative future for its...

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Watts, BBCSO, Wigglesworth, Barbican review - clarity, control and focus

Ryan Wigglesworth is a man of many talents. He has recently been appointed Chief Conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony, but he is also a versatile opera conductor, and an operatic sensibility is clear in the musical personality he projects.Last...

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Classical CDs: Bells, birthdays and elephants

 Hélène de Montgeroult: Études Clare Hammond (piano) (BIS)“How can music of this quality and vision be forgotten so comprehensively for so long?”, asks pianist Clare Hammond. It is the right question. The piano music of Hélène de Montgeroult (...

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Total Immersion: Sibelius the Storyteller, Barbican review - a feast of sagas and psychic masterpieces

If there’s a dud or a dullard among Sibelius’s 116 official opus numbers, I haven’t heard it. Yet catching even many of the outright masterpieces live in concert isn’t easy; the brevity that can show us a world in under 10 minutes makes some...

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BBC Proms 2022 - silence after Mass

So John Eliot Gardiner’s fire- and-air way with Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis turned out to be the last night of the Proms. Just as I was about to cycle to the Royal Albert Hall for the first of the Philadelphia Orchestra’s two Proms the following...

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Prom 39, Hartwig, BBCSO, Oramo review - bright and breezy followed by a curate's egg

Two quirky concertos – one for orchestra, though it might also be called a sinfonietta – and a big symphony: best of British but, more important, international and world class. Sakari Oramo and the BBC Symphony Orchestra sounded glorious throughout...

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Prom 8, Kozhukhin, BBCSO, Stasevska review - Russian classics meet contemporary Iceland

Russia meets Iceland: not the most obvious of juxtapositions. But the connection between the four composers featured in Prom 8 is to be found in their filmic approaches: the two contemporary Icelanders are both better known as media composers than...

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