thu 18/04/2024

Beethoven

Osborne, BBC Philharmonic, Bihlmaier, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - an orchestra at the top of its game

Just a few days after the Hallé’s Bruckner 8, the BBC Philharmonic weighed in with his Seventh Symphony for its Manchester audience. We’re all getting a lot of Bruckner in his 200th anniversary year, and this was a wise choice, being one of his...

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Classical CDs: Toccatas, taxi horns and tortoises

 William Steinberg: Complete Command Classics Recordings (DG)It’s hard to find a bad word said against conductor William Steinberg, cited by one critic as combining the best attributes of Toscanini and Klemperer. Born in Cologne in 1899,...

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Classical CDs: Herd girls, mojitos and mariachi

 Paavo Berglund: The Warner Edition (Warner Classics)Jean Sibelius’s presence looms over this box like a friendly giant. Paavo Berglund (interestingly, one of the few left-handed conductors to have achieved international fame) recorded the...

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Bartlett, LPO, Bihlmaier, RFH review - a clear path through the storm

Tempest-tossed seas seem all too apt a theme for January, so it felt fitting that the LPO decided to begin Saturday evening with Wagner’s stirringly elemental overture to The Flying Dutchman. As the programme note fascinatingly reminded us, he...

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Classical CDs: Microphones, mazurkas and mad scenes

 Beethoven: Piano Concertos 1-5 Garrick Ohlsson (piano), Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra/Sir Donald Runnicles (Reference Recordings)This set would be an artistic treat had it been captured onto a couple of C90 cassettes with a boombox....

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Hallé, Elder, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - championing the rich and rare

Sir Mark Elder’s zest for exploring fresh territory with the forces of the Hallé is unquenched even in his final season as music director. And who better to introduce the Stabat Mater of Rossini – a late flowering of the operatic wizard’s powers –...

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Classical CDs: Suits, serenades and flared trousers

 Bach: Goldberg Variations Víkingur Ólafsson (piano) (DG)Bach Goldberg Variations Reimagined Rachel Podger/Brecon Baroque (Channel Classics)It feels like ages since I’ve listened to Bach’s Goldberg Variations. I’m more team piano than team...

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Kim, BBC Philharmonic, Gernon, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - the sound of brass

Ben Gernon’s relationship with the BBC Philharmonic has been a richly rewarding one over the close-on seven years since his appointment as their principal guest conductor began, and indeed subsequently. The impression gained on his first...

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Aimard, Concerto Budapest SO, Keller, Cadogan Hall review - lords of the dance

The Zurich International series at Cadogan Hall has turned into a horizon-expanding stage on which to catch those visiting orchestras that don’t always claim top billing in bigger venues. The hall’s welcoming acoustic shows off the sound and style...

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Castalian Quartet, Edinburgh International Festival 2023 review - nothing taken for granted

This concert, the Edinburgh International Festival debut of the Castalian Quartet, almost didn’t happen due to the illness of their second violin, Daniel Roberts. Then, a couple of days ago, in stepped Yume Fujise, leader of the Kleio Quartet, to...

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Classical CDs: Microphones, Massachusetts and mountains

 Antal Doráti: The Mercury Masters – The Mono Recordings (Decca Eloquence)The great Hungarian conductor Antal Doráti (1906-1988) enjoyed a long and prolific recording career, stretching from the mid-1940s to the early 1980s. This beautifully...

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Classical CDs: Penitence, pipe smoking and soot sprites

 Otto Klemperer: The Warner Classics Remastered Edition (Warner Classics)The young Otto Klemperer’s conducting career was encouraged by no less than Gustav Mahler, Klemperer’s meteoric rise leading him to become director of Berlin’s Kroll Opera...

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