sun 02/10/2022

Mozart

Classical CDs: Civil service, bassoon laments and a historic keyboard

 Mozart: The Piano Sonatas (Robert Levin, playing Mozart’s fortepiano) (ECM New Series)There is no doubt about the brilliant uniqueness of pianist, conductor, musicologist and one-time Nadia Boulanger pupil Robert Levin, an influential Harvard...

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Dunedin Consort, Butt, Lammermuir Festival review - majestic Mozart at St Mary’s Haddington

The Dunedin Consort are most readily associated with the music of the Baroque, but this concert showed that they’re every bit as good at playing the music of the next generation. At times, in fact, I was taken aback by the magisterial scale of the...

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Classical CDs: Symmetrical storms, basset horns and a happy workshop

 Jacqueline du Pré: The Complete Warner Recordings (Warner Classics)There’s something both humbling and miraculous that a great musician’s recorded output can be squeezed into a neat box. Most of the material in Warner Classics’ latest...

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Così fan tutte, Royal Opera review - vibrant youth and vocal beauty

Irish soprano Jennifer Davis, a stunning Elsa in this Royal Opera season's revival of Wagner’s Lohengrin, was the lure to sit through Jan Philipp Gloger's Mozart Così again (the title, by the way – "All Women Do It" – belies the complexity applied...

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Così fan tutte, Garsington Opera review - gambling with the highest stakes

The scene is Monte-Carlo, around the beginning of the last century: a carefully observed world of cloudless skies, glittering seas, high society and careless privilege shared with Death in Venice. John Cox’s staging works in cool harmony with the...

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Le nozze di Figaro, Glyndebourne review - fabulous singing and a classy production

After two years of Covid-affected performances – even though there was a full season last year – Glyndebourne's annual festival is finally back in full glory. Following the big blaze of Saturday's The Wreckers, Sunday welcomed back Michael Grandage'...

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Classical CDs: Double reeds, double pianos and double string orchestras

 Mozart, Hummel and Vanhal – Bassoon Concertos Sophie Dervaux (bassoon/conductor), Mozarteumorchester Salzburg (Berlin Classics)The performance of the Hummel Grand Concerto for bassoon from 1805 here is just superb. French-born Sophie...

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Classical CDs: Toyshops, begging gods and a good year for Austrian music

 Mahler: Symphony No. 4 Czech Philharmonic Orchestra/Semyon Bychkov,with Chen Reiss (soprano) (Pentatone)Semyon Bychkov’s Mahler 4 is the first volume of a projected cycle from an orchestra with a surprisingly small Mahler discography. Mahler...

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Cooper, Bournemouth SO, Wigglesworth, Lighthouse, Poole review – musical sunbursts

With reference to smiles beginning to emerge from behind our masks, Mark Wigglesworth, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra’s new Principal Guest Conductor, wrote the most hopeful and optimistic note of welcome in the programme for this concert...

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Klieser, Driver, Bournemouth SO Soloists, Lighthouse, Poole review - a celebration of E flat

Although the large auditorium of Lighthouse, Poole may not offer the most favourable scale and intimacy for a chamber recital, the high quality of communicative chemistry and performance readily reached out to engage and hold the audience spellbound...

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Don Giovanni, Welsh National Opera review - fine young cast let down by unhelpful conducting

If Don Giovanni is not the greatest opera ever written, it’s at least one of the very, very few that even in erratic performances have the capacity to seem it. There was so much wrong, in detail, with WNO’s revival of John Caird’s now eleven year-...

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Fischer, LPO, Søndergård, RFH review - poised Mozart, lean and hungry Strauss

Mozart’s early violin concertos are precociously well-tailored and full of fun ideas, but are they “teenage masterpieces”, as Julia Fischer asserts? That special honour goes to the likes of Mendelssohn’s Octet and the most famous of Schubert’s 1815...

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