mon 16/07/2018

chamber music

Ariadne auf Naxos, Longborough Festival review - appetising energy and wit

Much as I love Strauss’s Ariadne in its final form, I have a sneaking nostalgia for the original version (attached to Hofmannsthal’s adaptation of Molière’s Le bourgeois gentilhomme), which had Zerbinetta and her companions popping up after the...

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theartsdesk at the East Neuk Festival 2018 - Bach as bedrock

There is a tide in the best-planned festivals that comes in and out almost imperceptibly, bringing with it changes as the days move on. Put it down to the kind of perfect planning that discards any one rigid theme, and to forging long-term links...

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theartsdesk in Orkney: St Magnus Festival 2018 - choral music to the fore

With – unusually – no visiting orchestra at this year’s St Magnus International Festival in far-flung Orkney (the fall-out from delayed funding confirmations, we’re assured), there was a danger that the annual midsummer event might have felt a...

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Manchester Collective, Chetham's, Manchester review - flair and variety

Manchester Collective is a new and enterprising group of musicians determined not just to create performances of high quality but to offer a new way in which the performances themselves are done. They started from scratch at the end of 2016, and I...

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Anthony Marwood and Friends, Peasmarsh Festival - elegies in a country church

A magnificent riven oak with gnarly branches stands in the secluded graveyard of SS Peter and Paul's Church Peasmarsh, near Rye. Transport it in your mind to Flexham Park in a very different part of Sussex, imagine it struck by lightning and it...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Martin, Martinů, Vivaldi, 4 Girls 4 Harps

 The Secret Mass: Choral works by Frank Martin and Bohuslav Martinů Danish National Vocal Ensemble/Marcus Creed (OUR Recordings)We're lucky to be able to hear Frank Martin’s Mass for two four-part choirs at all; this most fastidious and self-...

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Violinist Eldbjørg Hemsing: 'in the moments when magic happens, you think, that's why we do this'

In a classical recording industry seemingly obsessed with marketing beautiful young female violinists, but very often presenting them in repertoire to which most of them seem to have little individual to add, how do you make your mark? Norwegian...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Hans Abrahamsen, Lully, Strauss, Duo Jatekok

Hans Abrahamsen String Quartets No. 1-4 Arditti String Quartet (Winter & Winter)The opening section of Danish composer Hans Abrahamsen’s 2012 String Quartet No. 4 is subtitled “light and airy”, and, aptly, the four strings produce extraordinary...

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Jansen/Maisky/Argerich Trio, Barbican review - three classical titans give chamber music masterclass

They were billed as a Trio, but when the classical super-group of Janine Jansen, Mischa Maisky and Martha Argerich came together at the Barbican last night it was in a sequence of different combinations, each with their own musical identity. The...

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Hagen Quartet, Jörg Widmann, Wigmore Hall review – proportion and elegance

Jörg Widmann writes fast. He is also one of the few young German composers who can write distinctive and idiomatic music without feeling the weight of his country’s musical heritage on his shoulders at every turn. Surprisingly, then, his Clarinet...

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Octets, Wigmore Hall review - Heath Quartet and star friends effervesce

To compose a masterpiece in your teens is rare enough; to choose the most elaborate form in chamber music, an octet for eight strings, ensures a peculiar kind of immortality. George Enescu, a still-underestimated genius described by protege Yehudi...

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Chineke! Ensemble, RNCM, Manchester review - musical advocacy

The Chineke! Orchestra has won golden opinions for its ground-breaking work and musical achievement, and Manchester caught up to the extent of a visit from the eight-person Chineke! Ensemble to the Royal Northern College of Music. As with the full...

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