fri 21/09/2018

chamber music

Prom 69, Skride, Boston SO, Nelsons / Proms at...Cadogan Hall 8, Berlin Philharmonic Soloists review - sophisticated limits

Crazy days are here again – many of us are lucky not to have been born when the last collectve insanity blitzed the world – and nothing in Shostakovich seems too outlandish for reality. On the other hand, there's a growing movement to liberate his...

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theartsdesk at Itinéraire Baroque 2018 - canaries in front of a Périgord altar

Brits are the folk you expect to encounter the most in the rural-England-on-steroids of the beautiful Dordogne. In my experience they outnumber the French, at least in high summer, not just as visitors and retired homeowners but also as artisans...

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theartsdesk at the Australian Festival of Chamber Music - stratospheric performances by a tropical sea

North of Brisbane, south of Cairns and a short boat trip from the turquoise waters around the Great Barrier Reef, Townsville is the site of a north-east Australian military base. Despite its dry-tropical beachside glories, it’s not necessarily the...

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theartsdesk at the Pärnu Music Festival 2018 - Pärt, Leonskaja and friends hard at play

Unanticipated miracles happen every summer in the quiet paradise of Estonia's seaside capital. The first this year came as a total surprise. Having got off the afternoon coach from Riga last Monday and dumped bags at my villa base in Pärnu's garden...

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CD: Pram - Across the Meridian

Birmingham outfit Pram achieved profile amongst alt-music connoisseurs shortly after the millennium. They’d been going for over a decade but their weird-masked presentation and spooked, abject music suddenly struck a chord. Being truly an art band,...

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Keaton Henson on creating 'Six Lethargies'

This Friday, July 20, sees the world premiere of Six Lethargies, a composition by the singer-songwriter Keaton Henson, created collaboratively with various artists, including the Britten Sinfonia who’ll be performing it. Henson, who has six...

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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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