thu 21/06/2018

period instruments

Bach Weekend, Barbican review - vivid and vibrant celebrations

John Eliot Gardiner was 75 in April, and to celebrate, the Barbican Centre staged a weekend devoted to his favourite composer. Gardiner himself provided the backbone of the event, three concerts of cantatas with his Monteverdi Choir and English...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Martin, Martinů, Vivaldi, 4 Girls 4 Harps

 The Secret Mass: Choral works by Frank Martin and Bohuslav Martinů Danish National Vocal Ensemble/Marcus Creed (OUR Recordings)We're lucky to be able to hear Frank Martin’s Mass for two four-part choirs at all; this most fastidious and self-...

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Radically different: Horn player Anneke Scott on The Prince Regent's Band

The Prince Regent’s Band was formed in 2013 and, like very many chamber ensembles, was created when a group of us found that we shared a number of interests in common. The musicians that make up the ensemble are all specialist historic brass players...

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Bach Brandenburg Concertos, OAE, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

Enlightenment is a wonderful idea, and the members of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment who played Bach’s six Brandenburg Concertos in Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall last night brought the wisdom of today’s period instrument movement to bear...

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Two Quixotes, The English Concert, Bicket, Wigmore Hall

They dreamed the impossible dream in 1970, turning aspects of Cervantes' Don Quixote into the musical Man of La Mancha. But Purcell, Eccles and the lively dramatist Thomas D'Urfey - anyone know his hit song "The Fart"? - got there first nearly 300...

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Prohaska, Eberle and Friends, Wigmore Hall

A quick plot summary might be required here, because how this programme of Schubert, Pergolesi and Webern came into being was far from obvious. Two young soloists, one a violinist in her late twenties, one a singer in her early thirties, both born...

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Remembering Nikolaus Harnoncourt (1929-2016)

2016 began with the passing of Pierre Boulez, arguably the doyen of modernism in the field of classical music. Now, only a couple of months later, it is the turn of Nikolaus Harnoncourt, a musician occupying a similar level of singular elevation but...

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Prom 62: Barton, OAE, Alsop

A concert of Brahms chamber music I could understand, especially given a balance between early and late. An evening of orchestral Brahms, with or without voices, needs much more special pleading. It didn’t get nearly enough last night. An expanded...

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Daphnis et Églé/La Naissance d'Osiris, Les Arts Florissants, Christie, Barbican

Were it not for William Christie and Les Arts Florissants, the vocal and instrumental ensemble he started in Paris in the 1970s, the beauties of the musical French Baroque might have remained a dusty fact of pre-Revolutionary history. As it is,...

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Alright on the Night: at Glyndebourne with the OAE

If you only ever listened to opera from recordings, you might overlook the fact that it's as much theatre as it is music. In the opera house on the night, it's all well and good for the orchestra to play the score and the singers to sing their parts...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Cage, Madetoja, Mussorgsky, Ravel, Scarlatti

 Madetoja: Symphonies 1&3, Okon Fuoko Suite Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra/John Storgårds (Ondine)The first movement of Leevi Madetoja's Symphony no 1 approaches perfection. The opening gesture is arresting, and the lilting second subject...

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Sonia Prina, Wigmore Hall

The great Marilyn Horne used to joke that she was going to release an album entitled “Chestnuts for Chest Nuts”. She never did, but that leaves the door wide open for Sonia Prina whose dark, thrillingly low sound marks her out as the real deal, a...

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