sat 24/07/2021

Beethoven

Carducci Quartet, Wigmore Hall review - complexity and depth

This programme was a bit of a calling card from the Carducci Quartet. They have previously recorded all three works, and the three composers, Haydn, Shostakovich, Beethoven, clearly play to their strengths. Add to that a modest running time, the...

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Bronfman, Philharmonia, Salonen, RFH review – celebration around C major

One of the many things we’ll miss when Esa-Pekka Salonen moves on from his 13 years as the Philharmonia’s principal conductor will be his programming. For this first of his farewell concerts, he’s not only chosen what he loves but made sure it all...

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First Person: Boris Giltburg on lockdown interruptions to filming Beethoven's 32 piano sonatas

About a year ago, in a distant pre-pandemic world, I remember walking down Edgware Road one cold London evening. I was heading towards Jaques Samuel Pianos, my favourite haunt in London, to meet filmmaker Stewart French from Fly On The Wall. There,...

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Classical CDs: Dramatic symphonies, medieval bagpipes and a solo bassoon

 Beethoven: Symphony No. 7, Piano Concerto No. 4, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra/Lahav Shani (piano and conductor) (Warner Classics)Poor Beethoven’s 250th anniversary year saw most of the projected live events cancelled, but good new...

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Levit, Berlin Philharmoniker, Paavo Järvi, Digital Concert Hall review - optimal light and dark

It seems right that (arguably) the greatest orchestra in the world has (unarguably) the best livestreaming and archive service. Thanks to a vital musicians’ Covid testing set-up, the Berlin Philharmoniker is even more supreme online now that it can...

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Zimerman, LSO, Rattle, LSO St Luke's review - rainbow colours, continuity and imperial soaring

Adaptability backed up by funding has been the course of the most successful musical organisations since mid-March – but it’s been especially tough from November onwards. One abrupt lockdown meant that anything scheduled to be performed before a...

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First Person: conductor Johannes Vogel on Beethoven’s Ninth as re-orchestrated by Mahler

Think of the finale at a big fireworks show: the anticipation; the build up. There is nothing bigger than the Ninth Symphony. It is the climax of this year’s Beethoven celebrations. A year ago, no-one would have expected 2020 to be turned upside...

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Gabriele Carcano, Fidelio Orchestra Cafe - fresh, funny and focused Beethoven

Perhaps it’s just the conventional mind which celebrates the pathos, tragedy and triumph in Beethoven’s music at the expense of his humour. And that’s the one aspect of the composer which has been a constant revelation – to me, at any rate – in his...

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Fidelio, Opera North online review - less is really more

Adaptability is the name of the game for big companies in the music business now. And Opera North’s streamed presentation of Beethoven's Fidelio from inside Leeds Town Hall is a prime example of just how adaptable things need to be.The orchestra is...

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Paul Lewis, Wigmore Hall review – Classical consolations

The key of C minor threw a dark shadow over music long before it became the tonality for Beethoven to express the struggle of one against many in the Fifth Symphony and the Third Piano Concerto. Mozart was a feted teenager and Beethoven a babe in...

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Isata Kanneh-Mason, BBCSSO, Gourlay online review - give thanks for lockdown concerts

As our friends across the pond celebrated Thanksgiving on Thursday, a mix of music from America kicked off the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra’s concert, opening with Massachusetts-born composer Carl Ruggles’s Angels for muted brass. Ruggles...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Kirill Petrenko, Avi Avital, Ravel

 Berliner Philharmoniker/Kirill Petrenko: Music by Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Franz Schmidt, Rudi Stephan (Berliner Philharmoniker Recordings)Kirill Petrenko’s supposed indifference to making recordings is overstated: there’s a whole load of stuff...

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