wed 23/09/2020

Brahms

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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O/Modernt Soloists, Sonoro Ensemble, Wimbledon International Music Festival review - pure instrumental poetry

If you're going to run a music festival with flair, it's not enough just to have a run of star performers who pop up for single events. The 11th Wimbledon International Music Festival can offer those – Christian Tetzlaff and Lars Vogt, for instance...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Brahms, Bright, Dvořák, Gipps, Rota

 Brahms: Symphony No 3, Dvořák: Symphony No 8 Bamberger Symphoniker/Jakub Hruša (Tudor)Brahms 3 and Dvořák 8 make for an interesting pairing: Brahms at his most autumnal and introspective coupled with Dvořák in ebullient mood. There's a useful...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Brahms, Sibelius, Thomas Wilson

 Brahms: The Piano Quartets The Primrose Piano Quartet (Meridian)Schoenberg complained that performances of Brahms’s G minor Piano Quartet never pleased him (“the better the pianist, the louder he plays and you hear nothing from the strings”)....

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Classical CDs Weekly: Brahms, Shostakovich, Johannes Pramsohler

 Brahms, orch. Schoenberg: Piano Quartet No 1 in G minor, Parry: Elegy for Brahms Gävle Symphony Orchestra/Jaime Martín (Ondine)Schoenberg's flamboyant take on Brahms's G Minor Piano Quartet sounds less and less authentically Brahmsian the more...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Brahms, Haydn, Sibelius

Brahms: The Cello Sonatas The Fischer Duo: Norman Fischer (cello), Jeanne Kierman (piano), with Abigail Fischer (mezzo-soprano) (Centaur Records)Comparing Brahms’s pair of cello sonatas is like looking at the two piano concertos. There’s the...

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Schiff, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, RFH review – antique kit, modern sounds

Standing next to the warm brown beast of a piano built by Blüthner in Leipzig in 1867, Sir András Schiff advised his audience last night to clear their minds and ears of preconceptions. He told us that his rendering of Brahms’s first piano concerto...

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