thu 21/03/2019

Lutosławski

Orchestra of Opera North, Farnes, Leeds Town Hall

The few ensemble lapses and moments of insecurity during the first half of this concert had nothing to do with Richard Farnes’s conducting, or with the playing of an augmented Orchestra of Opera North. It’s in rude health; Farnes has refined and...

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High Society, Old Vic Theatre

It took approximately 30 years for High Society to first make its laborious transition from screen to stage and there are good reasons for that. The indelible impression left by the movie and its star, Grace Kelly, was undoubtedly the biggest, and...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Lutosławski, Szymanowski, Jórunn Viðar, The Revolutionary Drawing Room

Lutosławski: Concerto for Orchestra, Szymanowski: Three Fragments from Poems by Jan Kasprowicz Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra/Alexander Liebreich, with Ewa Podleś (contralto) (Accentus Music)I've never come across a lousy recorded...

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Moser, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Michail Jurowski, Royal Festival Hall

Imagine how discombobulated the audience must have felt at the 1962 premiere of Shostakovich’s most outlandish monster symphony, the Fourth, 26 years after its withdrawal at the rehearsal stage. Those of us hearing its natural successor, Schnittke’s...

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Mørk, Philharmonia Orchestra, Salonen, Royal Festival Hall

Curious and curiouser. Lutosławski’s Cello Concerto, centrepiece of Esa-Pekka Salonen’s latest Philharmonia concert celebrating the Polish master’s centenary, adds ballast to the idea that the composer, like Schoenberg and Tippett, burrowed into a...

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Zimerman, Philharmonia, Salonen, Royal Festival Hall

The centenary bandwagon always passes some composers by: how many organisations in Britain will be celebrating George Lloyd or Tikhon Khrennikov? Other figures almost get steamrollered flat with attention; Britten, I’d say, is this year’s likely...

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Q&A Special: Memories of Lutosławski

While the history of 20th-century music is undoubtedly the history of the 20th century – from the decadent expressionism of fin-de-siècle Berlin to the imagined surrealist worlds of 1920s Paris – few composers lived or wrote the century quite as...

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Best of 2012: Top 12 Classical CDs

Listening to a recording can never replace the joys of live performance. But if you don’t live in London, opportunities to explore quirky new repertoire can be thin on the ground. CDs most often excel as introductions to composers and works that you...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Lutosławski, Mahler, Salonen

 Lutosławski: Orchestral Works III Paul Watkins (cello), BBC Symphony Orchestra/Edward Gardner (Chandos)If your passing acquaintance with Lutosławski’s output goes no further than the masterly early Concerto for Orchestra, the 1950 Mała Suite...

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BBC Proms: Bronfman, Berlin Philharmonic, Rattle

Champagne on ice in the private boxes; scarcely any spare seats. This isn’t the normal situation for a concert climaxing in Witold Lutosławski’s Third Symphony, a modernist work whose usual audience is more than two men and a dog but still doesn’t...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Handel, Lutosławski, Shostakovich

 Handel: The Eight Great Suites Lisa Smirnova (ECM)This set slipped out quietly at the end of 2011. The typically muted ECM cover gives no hint of how life-enhancing these two discs are; I felt like getting the fluorescent highlighters out and...

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Martin Fröst, Roland Pöntinen, Wigmore Hall

It’s tempting to say that if Martin Fröst didn’t play the clarinet then he’d be an actor or a dancer. But he is an actor and a dancer and at one point during this scintillating recital he even sang, too – whilst playing the clarinet at the same time...

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