tue 21/05/2024

piano

Bavouzet, Manchester Camerata, Takács-Nagy, Stoller Hall, Manchester review - fun with abandon

There’s a sense of cheerful abandon about Manchester Camerata’s Mozart concerts with Jean-Efflam Bavouzet and Gábor Takács-Nagy that is hard to resist.So it wasn’t exactly the programme originally advertised, and the concept of performing and...

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Hough, Hallé, Elder, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - affection and adventure

It’s probably a bit early to be getting misty-eyed about the approaching end of Sir Mark Elder’s time as music director of the Hallé, but the programme he and they have just finished touring in the North of England will have been, for many, his real...

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Album: Fred Hersch - Silent, Listening

The previous solo piano solo album from Fred Hersch, one of the world’s great jazz pianists, was called Songs from Home, released on the New York indie jazz label Palmetto Records towards the end of 2020. Silent, Listening, released this month on...

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Schubert Piano Sonatas 4, Paul Lewis, Wigmore Hall review - feverish and sometimes violent

“Death doesn’t scare me at all,” said my friend Christopher Hitchens during our last telephone conversation. “After all, it’s the only certainty in life. Dying, however, scares me shitless”.However hard one tries to remove these three final sonatas...

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The Art of Fugue, Schiff, Nosrati, Wigmore Hall review - rarity and quality in music and performance

At the start of his 75-minute pre-concert lecture on Sunday, the incomparable András Schiff staked quite a claim for the piece he was about to perform: Bach’s The Art of Fugue was, he said: “the greatest work by the greatest composer who ever lived...

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Lugansky, Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra, Letonja, Cadogan Hall review - Russian soul, French flair

To judge by the post-interval empty seats near me, some of the Cadogan Hall audience had turned up last night solely to hear Nikolai Lugansky play Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto. Well, the more fool them. For sure they would have enjoyed their...

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Ablogin, SCO, Emelyanychev, City Halls, Glasgow review - a happy 50th birthday

The mood was indeed celebratory at Glasgow’s City Halls on Friday evening for the second of two concerts celebrating the Scottish Chamber Orchestra’s 50th birthday. It opened with a suite from Figaro Gets a Divorce, a comic opera written by composer...

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Igor Levit, Wigmore Hall review - every note of Brahms’ late genius carefully weighed

Successful performances, conductor Robin Ticciati once suggested to me, are when “the head has a conversation with the heart”. The same goes, surely, for great music, though from personal experience one has to reach a certain age to find that true...

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Boris Giltburg, Wigmore Hall review - epic heaven and hell

With rapid, sleight-of-hand flicks between calm assurance and demonic agitation, Boris Giltburg turned in a coherent and epic recital that won’t be surpassed in 2024. Most pianists would quake simply at the thought of performing the four Chopin...

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Mariam Batsashvili, Wigmore Hall review - spectacular pianism, with a sense of fun

For a small nation, with a population not quite comparable to Scotland’s, Georgia has for long packed a mighty musical punch. Any visitor will know the soul-wrenching power of its choral polyphony, but a post-Soviet generation of classical soloists...

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Paul Lewis, Wigmore Hall review - Schubert sonatas revisited

A decade has passed since Paul Lewis concluded an endeavour of a kind never previously undertaken: to perform, over two and a half years and across four continents, every work Schubert wrote for piano between 1822, the year he was diagnosed with...

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Grosvenor, SCO, Emelyanychev, Usher Hall, Edinburgh review - lightness of touch and a sprinkling of humour

Nobody would describe Felix Mendelssohn as a fringe composer, but his piano concertos aren’t exactly central classical repertoire either. They lack the foundational status of Mozart’s and the high Romantic seriousness of Beethoven’s or Brahms’, and...

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