sun 24/01/2021

Brahms

Classical CDs Weekly: Brahms, Anna Höstman, Mozart, Mark Simpson

 Brahms: Symphonies 3 & 4 Australian Chamber Orchestra/Richard Tognetti (ABC Classic)Why these live performances from 2015 and 2013 have waited so long for release is a mystery; this is the best Brahms symphony disc I’ve heard in ages....

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Hallé, Elder, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester online review - re-consecration of the house

The Hallé have been slow off the mark, compared with some, in their response to the challenge of concert-giving in the Covid era. But now that they have delivered on the first of their winter season performances, it has clearly been worth the wait....

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First Person: horn player Alec Frank-Gemmill on authenticity and enlightenment in lockdown

The UK’s music industry is in dire straits and my heart goes out to friends and colleagues in financial need. For a proper discussion of the current situation, I refer you to Sophia Rahman’s excellent article for theartsdesk. What I have written...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Brahms, Philip Sawyers, Ligeti Quartet

 Brahms: Chamber Music Alec Frank-Gemmill (horn), Daniel Grimwood (piano), Benjamin Marquise Gilmore (violin) (BIS)An hour’s worth of Brahms’s chamber music for horn? Almost; we get the familiar Opus 40 Trio here, plus arrangements of the Op 38...

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Tasmin Little Farewell Recital, RFH review - memories, tributes and dreams

Bidding farewell to the Royal Festival Hall, Tasmin Little was at the very peak of her powers. It’s almost unthinkable that we will never see her play here again. Many have hoped that she’d be one of those musicians who announce their retirement...

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Baker, Ridout, LaFollette, Schwizgebel, Fidelio Orchestra Cafe review - fun and ferocity

How many musicians can you fit in the main space of the Fidelio Orchestra Café? The answer is 23 string players in masks, for the recording of Strauss’s Metamorphosen of which I was a solitary witness in the summer. With diners accommodated,...

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Maggini Quartet/Friend, Solem Quartet, Bandstand Chamber Festival review - in harmony with nature

Music going back to nature, or rather the managed nature of a London park, can make you think and feel quite differently about great composers’ responses to the world around them. To hear Dvořák’s blissful “American” Quartet the Friday before last...

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Berlin Philharmoniker, Karajan, Digital Concert Hall review - a captivating musical time capsule

When I saw that the Berlin Philharmonic had thrown open the doors to its virtual concert hall the thing that most interested me was to see some Karajan. When I was a child in the mid-1980s I lived for a while in Berlin and my father took me to the...

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Skelton, Rice, BBCSO, Gardner, Barbican review – romanticism’s last stand

Only a modest audience turned up for this BBC Symphony Orchestra concert, though it was unclear if this was caused by the threat of airborne disease or the inclusion of Schoenberg on the programme. The result was a paradoxical intimacy, with the...

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Grosvenor, Park, Ridout, Soltani, QEH review - inspired collegiality at the highest level

Gustav Mahler and Richard Strauss are not the composers you'd hear at a typical chamber music concert. Their early efforts at piano quartets made up the first half of an evening at the Queen Elizabeth Hall with Benjamin Grosvenor and friends that...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Brahms, Magnard, Skempton

 Brahms: The Orchestral Music Gewandhausorchester Leipzig/Kurt Masur (Decca Eloquence)Conductor Kurt Masur's role in Germany’s reunification has tended to obscure his musical strengths. I'd previously dismissed him as a safe, reliable pair...

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Bauer, CBSO, Koenig, Symphony Hall Birmingham review - Christoph pulls it off

Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla’s programmes in Birmingham are so personal – so utterly bespoke – that in the event of her being indisposed, they present something of a problem. That’s what happened this week. The programme was vintage Gražinytė-Tyla –...

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