thu 29/07/2021

chamber music

East Neuk Festival 2021 / Benjamin Baker, Fidelio Orchestra Café review – singing in the rain

The heading may be a bit misleading. There were no vocalists at this year’s ingeniously adapted East Neuk Festival – live events held exclusively in the big space of the Bowhouse, St Monans, to a compulsorily limited audience – and the only rain was...

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Ragged Music Festival 2021, Ragged School Museum review - harrowing of hell from great musicians

Seven months might just about be enough time to have digested the deep and intense offerings of the Second Ragged Music Festival before moving on to more soul-shattering and transcendence in the third. That there hasn’t been a year between the two...

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Castalian Quartet, Stoller Hall, Manchester online review - mercurial playing fits a varied programme

The Polyphonic Concert Club is a collective of musicians – including Isata Kanneh-Mason and I Fagiolini – offering recorded chamber recitals released weekly through March and April. Like the festivals of Voces8 (I reviewed their Christmas series)...

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Steven Osborne 50th Birthday Concert, Wigmore Hall online – perfect symmetries

Some pianists would take the chance of a birthday celebration to pioneer a solitary epic. Not the ever-collegial, unshowy, some would even say visionary Steven Osborne. For this ultimately unforgettable Wigmore Hall concert, he’s devised a programme...

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Hughes, Manchester Collective, Lakeside Arts online review - creating the occasion

There’s an atmosphere of tender restraint through most of the programme created by Ruby Hughes and Manchester Collective for Lakeside Arts at the University of Nottingham. It was streamed live yesterday afternoon, and, as is the way with most...

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Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Emelyanychev online review – versatile virtuosity from Edinburgh

Seated at the harpsichord, Maxim Emelyanychev introduces this concert in charmingly fractured English. “Hello from Queen’s Hall in Edimbourg, today with chamber group of musicians from Scottish Chamber Orchestra…” But he falters, the camera cuts...

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Classical musicians on life after Brexit - 3: violinist Sara Deborah Struntz-Timossi

Sara Deborah Struntz-Timossi is an international award-winning violinist who has toured with early music ensembles like the European Union Baroque Orchestra, Dunedin Consort and The English Concert, as well as performing across Europe as a soloist...

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The Soldier's Tale, Scottish Chamber Orchestra online review - top performers master a baggy mini-monster

Born in exigency at the end of the First World War and soon kiboshed by the Spanish flu, The Soldier’s Tale as originally conceived is a tricky hybrid to bring off. Not so the suite – Stravinsky’s mostly incidental-music numbers are unique and vivid...

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Kanneh-Mason Trio/Cassadó Ensemble, Kings Place review - the fewer the players, the greater the music

For the performers and the venue there can be nothing but praise. To be back in Kings Place’s Hall One after so long was to realise afresh that no other London venue gives such air to soaring strings – and these ones truly did soar and gleam. For...

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Mofidian, Britten Sinfonia, Elder, Saffron Hall review - meditations and mirth

How strange to experience Saffron Walden’s amazingly high-standard new(ish) concert hall without the usual auditorium – in other words no tiered rows other than in the balcony, but seats around tables, on a level with the musicians (pictured below,...

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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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Elias Quartet, Wigmore Hall review – sinewy, muscular Beethoven

You could imagine that normality had returned watching the live webcasts from the Wigmore Hall. The Hall has bucked the trend, and managed to present a full autumn season, to a carefully separated but still substantial audience. Yesterday evening’s...

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