thu 16/08/2018

piano

Prom 42, Buniatishvili, Estonian Festival Orchestra, Järvi review – bright lights from the North

Music-lovers who normally balk at the sight of national colours in a concert hall would surely have forgiven the little Estonian flags – in stripes of blue, black and white – that waved happily at the conclusion of this Prom. Under the baton of...

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CD: Tom Baxter - The Other Side of Blue

It’s been a decade since we last heard from Tom Baxter when he released his second album Skybound, which itself was four years after his debut Feather & Stone. That album included “Almost There”, a song somewhat implausibly covered by Shirley...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Louis Couperin, Pärt, Bruce Levingston

 Louis Couperin: Dances from the Bauyn Manuscript Pavel Kolesnikov (Hyperion)We’ll get the entertaining trivia out of the way first, namely that the musical Couperin dynasty came from Chaumes-en-Brie. I’m struggling to think of another example...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Sibelius, Strauss, Bernstein the Pianist

Sibelius: Finlandia, The Swan of Tuonela, En Saga, The Oceanides BBC National Orchestra of Wales/Thomas Søndergård (Linn)Earlier releases in Thomas Søndergård’s ongoing Sibelius cycle were marred by indifferent engineering, so it’s nice to report...

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theartsdesk at the East Neuk Festival 2018 - Bach as bedrock

There is a tide in the best-planned festivals that comes in and out almost imperceptibly, bringing with it changes as the days move on. Put it down to the kind of perfect planning that discards any one rigid theme, and to forging long-term links...

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theartsdesk in Orkney: St Magnus Festival 2018 - choral music to the fore

With – unusually – no visiting orchestra at this year’s St Magnus International Festival in far-flung Orkney (the fall-out from delayed funding confirmations, we’re assured), there was a danger that the annual midsummer event might have felt a...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Olivia De Prato, Kärt Ruubel, Third Coast Percussion

 Streya: New works for solo violin and violin with electronics Olivia De Prato (violin) (New Focus Recordings)Combining acoustic instruments with electronics is a dark art, and tantalisingly few details about the process are revealed in the...

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Imogen Cooper, Wigmore Hall review – Viennese schools refreshed

In the right hands, the music of the various Viennese Schools can still sound almost startlingly original. Imogen Cooper’s are very much the right hands, containing a rare, refined artistry that only continues to grow with the years. In her Wigmore...

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theartsdesk at Leipzig's Blüthner Piano Factory - a perfect family business

Have you ever wondered why the Steinway grand piano is invariably the instrument of choice in every hall you visit, great or small? Why do the halls in question not offer a choice between two or three pianos of different manufacture, as so many did...

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Ryuichi Sakamoto: 'Ideally I'm recording all the time, 24 hours a day' - interview

Ryuichi Sakamoto has conquered underground and mainstream with seeming ease over four decades, never dropping off in the quality of his releases. Indeed his most recent projects, following his return to public life after treatment for throat cancer...

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Chopin's Piano, Tiberghien, Kildea, Brighton Festival review - mumbled words, magical music

First the good news: Cédric Tiberghien, master of tone colour, lucidity and expressive intent, playing the 24 Chopin Preludes plus the Bach C major and the C minor Nocturne in the red-gold dragons' den of the Royal Pavilion's Music Room. Then the...

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CD: Arctic Monkeys - Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino

Arctic Monkeys are the great British guitar band of the 21st century so far. Only now they’re not. For the last couple of albums, Sheffield’s ever-smart rock four-piece have pushed their innate indie guitar sound further and further into 21st pop...

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