tue 11/12/2018

contemporary classical

theartsdesk in Warsaw - Penderecki at 85

Krzysztof Penderecki is the elder statesman of Polish music, and celebrations for his 85th birthday in Warsaw were suitably grand. Penderecki has been setting the agenda for contemporary music, in Poland and beyond, since the 1950s. His early work...

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Juliana, Nova Music Opera, St John's Smith Square review - new version of a classic drama

Joseph Phibbs is not the first composer to make an opera out of Strindberg’s Miss Julie, and it is not difficult to see the operatic appeal of this taut, passionate three-handed drama. But there are also hazards: my recollections of the play,...

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Lammermuir Festival 2018 review - a bigger buzz

There’s always been something of a buzz in the air at East Lothian’s Lammermuir Festival. It’s the feeling that it’s somehow a special privilege to discover its performances – whether they’re from international names or emerging artists, challenging...

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Edinburgh Festival 2018 review: Aimard, SCO, Pintscher - psychedelic visions

There were two immediate casualties at Pierre-Laurent Aimard’s high-energy account of Messiaen’s monumental Des canyons aux étoiles… with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra at the Edinburgh International Festival.First was one of the strings in the...

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Roger Scruton: Music as an Art review - how to listen?

Hegel, Kant, David Hume, Nietzsche, Schopenhauer, Leibniz are all adduced, referred to, and paraphrased, and that’s just for starters. Add Rameau, Schubert, Beethoven, Benjamin Britten and the contemporary composer David Matthews (who is also a...

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Proms 29 / 30, Swedish Chamber Orchestra, Dausgaard review - Bach Brandenburgs and beyond

A complex Swedish product to unpack, this one. Someone in the BBC must have worked out that it could do with a detailed instruction manual to help people with the task: the programme booklet duly ran to a full 50 pages.There were two sets of...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Louis Couperin, Pärt, Bruce Levingston

 Louis Couperin: Dances from the Bauyn Manuscript Pavel Kolesnikov (Hyperion)We’ll get the entertaining trivia out of the way first, namely that the musical Couperin dynasty came from Chaumes-en-Brie. I’m struggling to think of another example...

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Prom 21, BBC Scottish SO, Volkov review - horncalls and mountainscapes

This concert was inspired by the huge scale of the Albert Hall. The three works all evoke spacious vistas, through their expansive textures, echo effects and horn calls. Mozart, Haas and Strauss made for a diverse programme though, the three works...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Sverre Indris Joner, John McLeod, Poulenc, Stravinsky

 Sverre Indris Joner: Con cierto toque de tango Henning Kraggerud (violin), Norwegian Radio Orchestra/Sverre Indris Joner, with Tango for 3 (Lawo Classics)Sverre Indris Joner is described in this disc’s notes as “the doyen of Latin American...

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Prom 4, Simpson, BBCPO, Mena review - terrific Lindberg, brooding Shostakovich

The fourth Prom of this season featured only two contrasting pieces, pitching the unabashed joyfulness and good humour of Lindberg’s Clarinet Concerto against the angst and defiance of Shostakovich’s “Leningrad” Symphony. It was the former that left...

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Proms at...Cadogan Hall 1, Perianes, Calidore String Quartet review - mysteries and revelations

Light-filled Cadogan Hall is hosting the most fascinatingly programmed concerts in a Proms season not otherwise conspicuous for its adventurousness. There's also an honourable pledge to premiere at least one new work by a female composer in each...

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Prom 1, BBCSO, Oramo review – spectacular First Night of the Proms

The First Night of the Proms is always a tricky one to programme, bringing together themes of the season, perhaps a new work and, most importantly, a grand finale. This year’s Prom No. 1 ticked all the boxes, and without feeling like pick-n-mix. It...

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