sun 28/11/2021

Mahler

Coote, Jackson, Drake, Middle Temple Hall review – Mahler's long goodbyes

Sometimes you know the quality of music by the depth of the silence when it ends. Last night at Middle Temple Hall – and thank Mahler’s mystical heavens for it – the final ghostly “Ewig” of Der Abschied faded away into a soundless void that lasted...

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Proms Festival Orchestra, Wigglesworth, BBC Proms review - brilliant work in progress, perfect Adagietto

You don’t expect a great orchestral string section to be born overnight, yet under the circumstances of the Proms Festival Orchestra’s rapid creation and only three rehearsals of three hours each, this was more than good, with detailed articulation...

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Matthews, LPO, Ticciati, Glyndebourne review - out of this world

Why travel to Glyndebourne for a concert? Well, for a start, none of us has heard a Mahler symphony live in full orchestral garb for at least 15 months, and though the Fourth is smaller-scale than some, its innocent beginnings belie the cosmic...

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Classical CDs: Three great conductors remembered, Mahler with accordion and a song cycle with no singer

 André Previn: The Warner Edition – Complete HMV & Teldec Recordings (Warner Classics)Flicking through this box set will provoke a Proustian rush if you’re of a certain age. These recordings were mostly made for EMI, though Warner Classics...

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Das Lied von der Erde, Kožená, Staples, LSO, Rattle, Barbican online review - more joy than sorrow

The drunkard in spring; the lonely man in autumn; the long goodbye. Mahler’s last song-cycle often seems to embody solitude; a resigned, earthly counterpart to the transcendent rapture of his previous work, the Eighth Symphony, as a superstitious...

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Classical CDs: Big symphonies, archlutes and the healing power of the viola

 Bach: The English Suites Paolo Zanzu (harpsichord) (Musica Ficta)I’m a recent convert to Bach keyboard music played on harpsichord, having recently immersed myself in the Erato box set containing Zuzana Růžičková’s Bach recordings made in the...

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Budapest Festival Orchestra, Fischer online review - Mahler movements for the fish

In verses from the folk anthology Des Knaben Wunderhorn (The Youth's Magic Horn) set by Mahler as a song, later adapted for the scherzo of his Second Symphony, St Anthony of Padua sermonizes on repentance to the fish, who all listen politely and...

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Mofidian, Britten Sinfonia, Elder, Saffron Hall review - meditations and mirth

How strange to experience Saffron Walden’s amazingly high-standard new(ish) concert hall without the usual auditorium – in other words no tiered rows other than in the balcony, but seats around tables, on a level with the musicians (pictured below,...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Mahler, Shostakovich, Chris Watson and Georgia Rodgers

 Mahler: Symphony No. 7 Orchestre National de Lille/Alexandre Bloch (Alpha Classics)Mahler 5’s five movements trace a lucid journey from darkness to light, and No. 6’s tautly-structured outer movements don’t contain a wasted note. Whereas...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Mahler, Vaughan Williams, Sandbox Percussion

 Mahler: Symphony No. 4 Turku Philharmonic Orchestra/Leif Segerstam, with Essi Luttinen (mezzo-soprano) (Alba)Leif Segerstam can be a maddeningly inconsistent conductor, a musician whose recordings can frustrate as much as they inspire. He’s...

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The Telephone, Scottish Opera/Cargill, RSNO, Søndergård, Edinburgh International Festival online - human emotions in digital form

Lockdown, perhaps more than any other time, has amplified how modern technology can be both a blessing and a curse. Of course, it’s wonderful to have the means to connect with friends and family scattered across the globe; carry on working, learning...

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Luis Sagasti: A Musical Offering review – the sounds of silence

Luis Sagasti attends closely to the silence that precedes, pauses, and follows music in this mesmeric collage of stories inspired by the sounds that humans – and animals, and stars – create. Like many authors before him, the Argentinian novelist and...

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