fri 16/04/2021

piano

Benjamin Grosvenor, Barbican online review - black magic and golden-age gorgeousness

I can’t deny that it’s great to be able to experience a recital by Benjamin Grosvenor live from the Barbican despite lockdown, streamed into your own home. The filming of this performance on Saturday night was superb, clear and well paced; we could...

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Levit, Berlin Philharmoniker, Paavo Järvi, Digital Concert Hall review - optimal light and dark

It seems right that (arguably) the greatest orchestra in the world has (unarguably) the best livestreaming and archive service. Thanks to a vital musicians’ Covid testing set-up, the Berlin Philharmoniker is even more supreme online now that it can...

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Pushkin House Music Festival online review - Russian around Bloomsbury

Sergey Prokofiev died on 5 March 1953, on the same day as Stalin. Perhaps that uncomfortable coincidence makes March the perfect time for a festival of Russian music. Pushkin House, the Russian cultural centre based in a Georgian villa in Bloomsbury...

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Christian Blackshaw, Wigmore Hall online review - pure as the driven snow

From a distance, the pianist Christian Blackshaw bears an uncanny resemblance to Franz Liszt, silver hair swept back à la 19th century. At the piano, though, you could scarcely find two more different musicians. There seems not to be a...

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Album: Chilly Gonzales – A Very Chilly Christmas

What a welcome present this is! Fresh yet familiar, evocative and captivating, this is the perfect antidote to the usual saccharine festive fodder. There’s only enough schmaltz one can stomach, only so many jingle bells one can tolerate before your...

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Dame Fanny Waterman (1920-2020) - some recollections, with love and affection

Dame Fanny Waterman was a true force of nature, in the best sense of the word. Her diminutive height belied a giant intellectual force and a steely determination to achieve the seemingly unachievable through every means she could muster.She...

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Zimerman, LSO, Rattle, LSO St Luke's review - rainbow colours, continuity and imperial soaring

Adaptability backed up by funding has been the course of the most successful musical organisations since mid-March – but it’s been especially tough from November onwards. One abrupt lockdown meant that anything scheduled to be performed before a...

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Gabriele Carcano, Fidelio Orchestra Cafe - fresh, funny and focused Beethoven

Perhaps it’s just the conventional mind which celebrates the pathos, tragedy and triumph in Beethoven’s music at the expense of his humour. And that’s the one aspect of the composer which has been a constant revelation – to me, at any rate – in his...

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Paul Lewis, Wigmore Hall review – Classical consolations

The key of C minor threw a dark shadow over music long before it became the tonality for Beethoven to express the struggle of one against many in the Fifth Symphony and the Third Piano Concerto. Mozart was a feted teenager and Beethoven a babe in...

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Isata Kanneh-Mason, BBCSSO, Gourlay online review - give thanks for lockdown concerts

As our friends across the pond celebrated Thanksgiving on Thursday, a mix of music from America kicked off the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra’s concert, opening with Massachusetts-born composer Carl Ruggles’s Angels for muted brass. Ruggles...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Mick Talbot of The Style Council

Following the break-up of The Jam in 1982, Mick Talbot (b 1958) was chosen by Paul Weller as his sparring partner in a new band, The Style Council. Talbot, a keyboard player from south London, had flourished amid the late-Seventies Mod revival,...

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Diabelli Variations, Imogen Cooper, Fidelio Orchestra Cafe review - a universe for a (temporary) farewell

Beethoven anniversary year would not have been complete without witnessing a masterly live interpretation of his 33 ever more questing piano variations on a jolly waltz. This one was revelatory. Could I have afforded it, had there been more...

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