tue 27/07/2021

piano

Uchida, Philharmonia, Salonen, RFH review - Bach to the future

In the beginning, 38 years ago, came a career-making Mahler Third Symphony for Esa-Pekka Salonen in his first concert with the Philharmonia. Reassembling that vast epic wouldn't be possible under present circumstances. Last night, ending 13 years as...

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Grosvenor, RSNO, Chan, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall online review - too big for the small screen

By chance, I started watching this streamed concert shortly after hearing a live BBC broadcast of the Philharmonia playing in front of an audience for the first time in over a year. Much though I love the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, steadfast...

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Bronfman, Philharmonia, Salonen, RFH review – celebration around C major

One of the many things we’ll miss when Esa-Pekka Salonen moves on from his 13 years as the Philharmonia’s principal conductor will be his programming. For this first of his farewell concerts, he’s not only chosen what he loves but made sure it all...

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Michael Spitzer: The Musical Human review - charting our age-old relationship with music

Music and time each dwell inside the other. And the more you attend to musical sounds, the more complex their temporal entanglements become. Time structures music, rhythmically and in its implied narratives. From outside, we place it in biographical...

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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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