sat 01/10/2022

chamber music

Album: Björk - fossora

Album opener “Atapos” was released as a single earlier in September, its sharply angular beats created by Björk and Indonesian duo Gabber Modus Operandi, one of whom has since had his contributions removed following #MeToo allegations. The song’s...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Abel Selaocoe

South-African cellist Abel Selaocoe is about to begin his third major concert in London in under a year. As the support artist for kora player Ballake Sissoko and cellist Vincent Segal at the Roundhouse in January, he received a lengthy ovation for...

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Leonskaja, Staatskapelle Streichquartett, Wigmore Hall review - Brahms the chameleon

Epic-lyric magician Brahms wears a very adaptable garment for certain masterpieces: black on the outside with fur trimming, reversible to show its exquisitely wrought, variegated silk patterns on the inside.For the celebrated G minor Piano Quartet...

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Duval, Isserlis, Beatson, Fidelio Cafe review - in seventh heaven with the greats

It feels like a decade, but only two and a bit years have passed since Steven Isserlis stepped out in front of a small but very much live audience at what was then the Fidelio Orchestra Cafe in July 2020. Three hundred or so Fidelio events later, he...

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The Audition review - love and hate at music school

If Roman Polanski had directed Whiplash, something like this study of music’s psychological cost might have resulted. Ina Weisse’s film is more incremental and naturalistic, as violin teacher Anna (Nina Hoss) gives special attention to teenage...

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Jerusalem Quartet, Wigmore Hall review - shock and sophistication in ideally-proportioned Beethoven

Three Beethoven quartets, early, middle and late, in a single evening – inevitably as part of a cycle, like the Jerusalems’ Wigmore Hall triptych last night – is demanding on the audience, supremely tough on the players.We could have left this...

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Russians and friends play on for Ukraine

National sensitivities are running understandably high right now in the thick of an ever-escalating aggression. What a shame that the Southbank Centre has excluded Russian artists from performing alongside British and Ukrainian performers to bring a...

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Smetana Trio, Wigmore Hall / Minerva Piano Trio, Christ Church Kensington review - spirits of delight

Comparisons might have been odious between three of the world's most cultured players – pianist Jitka Cechová, violinist Jan Talich and cellist Jan Páleníček of the Smetana Trio – and the young, British-based Minerva Piano Trio (Annie Yim...

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Takács Quartet, Wigmore Hall review - intimate letters and holy songs

The Takács Quartet is hard to pin down. The group was founded in 1975 in Budapest, but since 1983 has been based in Boulder, Colorado. Cellist András Fejér is the only remaining founding member, and the violist, Richard O’Neill, only joined in 2020...

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CBSO Quartet, Hockley Social Club, Birmingham review - unveiling of innovative new partnership

Kicking off a brand new partnership between the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Hockley Social Club, this first ever Symphonic Session saw a string quartet from the CBSO take centre stage at Birmingham’s latest street-food venue, Hockley...

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Clements Prize, Conway Hall review - newly-written string trios in competition

The Conway Hall in London has hosted chamber music concerts since it was built in 1929, and for 40 years this included a composition prize, in abeyance since the late 1970s. This has now been revived by the hall’s enterprising director of music,...

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theartsdesk at the Two Moors Festival - birdsong, gongs and nocturnes in Dartmoor churches

First came the difficult decision: whether to experience performances by great musicians whose work I already knew in the second, Exmoor-based weekend of the Two Moors Festival, or to go for enticing programmes by others whom I’d never experienced...

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