wed 11/12/2019

contemporary classical

CD: Simon Thacker's Ritmata - Tàradh

Composer, classical guitarist and ensemble leader Simon Thacker has spent the past decade immersed in distinct musical cultures; from the reinterpretations and reimaginings of the musical traditions of eastern Europe and the Roma people that...

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Ólafur Arnalds presents OPIA, Southbank Centre review - many strange delights

Ólafur Arnalds is almost secretly huge. Millions adore the melancholy beauty of the Icelandic composer’s music, yet his name still brings blank stares from some. The Royal Festival Hall was predictably full to bursting, though, to see Arnalds...

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CD: Land of Kush - Sand Enigma

Land of Kush are an ambitious 20-piece plus ensemble which features all manner of instruments from strings, horns, piano, guitar, santur, darbouka, oud and synths, as well as multiple vocalists and percussionists. Led by Sam Shalabi of the trippy...

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Gerstein, LPO, Adès, RFH review - engaging new piano concerto

Every ten years or so Thomas Adès writes a piano concerto and the latest had its UK premiere last night at the Royal Festival Hall, played by Kirill Gerstein and conducted by Adès himself. Following on from the youthful, skittish Concerto Conciso of...

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'A laboratory for everything': Jasper Parrott on the future of his classical music agency

Fiftieth anniversary? It seems incredible but also so exhilarating not least because these times we live in now seem to me to be a golden age for music of all kinds and in particular for what we label so inadequately classical music. This flowering...

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Balsom, CBSO, Gražinytė-Tyla, Symphony Hall Birmingham review - made in Brum

There’s nothing like practising what you preach. “I say straight out that I regard all so-called 12-tone music, so-called serial music, so-called electronic music and so-called avant-garde music as utter rubbish, and indeed a deliberate conning of...

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10 Questions for conductor Charles Hazlewood

Charles Hazlewood (b. 1966) has worked across the gamut of orchestral music, his career showcasing the multitude of ways it can be perceived and enjoyed. Recently he has reengaged with his longstanding love of minimalist music, first via his two BBC...

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Edinburgh International Festival 2019: MacMillan birthday concerts - searing world premiere

To celebrate the 60th birthday of Sir James MacMillan, the Edinburgh International Festival has programmed his music over five concerts, including the Nash Ensemble with Fourteen Little Pictures, the National Youth Choir of Scotland with All the...

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Ludovico Einaudi, Barbican review - a long road to nowhere

There is a video, part of Greenpeace’s laudable Save The Arctic Campaign, in which Ludovico Einaudi sits at a Steinway atop a small ice flow performing his Elegy for the Arctic. As he plays a descending scale, the camera pans slightly to the right...

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theartsdesk Q&A: composer Alastair White on his new opera ROBE

A robe can be many things. Sure, it’s a garment, but it can also be cover, a disguise, a costume or a uniform. It’s also something composed of many different threads woven together to create something much bigger. It’s these kinds of layers of...

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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: Stewart Goodyear, Nielsen, Weinberg

 Stewart Goodyear: Callaloo, Piano Sonata; Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue Stewart Goodyear (piano), Chineke! Orchestra/Wayne Marshall (Orchid Classics)Callaloo is Stewart Goodyear’s indecently entertaining suite for piano and orchestra, the title...

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