sun 22/04/2018

piano

Ibragimova, Tiberghien, Wigmore Hall review – light, bright and melodic Brahms

The Brahms violin sonatas make a perfect spring evening recital. The Second and Third were inspired by a summer retreat, but all three are light, bright and with direct melodic appeal. Violinist Alina Ibragimova and pianist Cédric Tiberghien...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Hans Abrahamsen, Lully, Strauss, Duo Jatekok

Hans Abrahamsen String Quartets No. 1-4 Arditti String Quartet (Winter & Winter)The opening section of Danish composer Hans Abrahamsen’s 2012 String Quartet No. 4 is subtitled “light and airy”, and, aptly, the four strings produce extraordinary...

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Andsnes, LPO, Jurowski, RFH review - dazzling symphonic contrasts, plus oddities

Kudos, as ever, to Vladimir Jurowski for making epic connections. Not only did he bookend a rich LPO concert with two very different symphonies from the late 1930s by Stravinsky and Shostakovich; he also masterminded and attended the early evening...

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Igor Levit, Wigmore Hall review – music for the ages

Frederic Rzewski marked his 80th birthday with a visit to the Wigmore Hall, for the premiere of his aptly titled Ages. The pianist Igor Levit is an ardent champion of Rzewski’s music and was the prime mover behind the commission (though it was...

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Donohoe, LPO, Orozco-Estrada, RFH review – wit aplenty in rare Stravinsky

I left this concert a bit depressed, but not because of anything I heard: rather, by the conservatism of London concert-goers. As London orchestras focus on programming the usual wall-to-wall Brahms, Beethoven and Mahler, the LPO was rewarded for...

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Lisa Halliday: Asymmetry review - unconventional and brilliant

Lisa Halliday’s striking debut novel consists of three parts. The first follows the blooming relationship between Alice and Ezra (respectively an Assistant Editor and a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer) in New York; the middle section comprises a...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Bach, Gibson, Gunge

Bach: French Suites Zhu Xiao-Mei (piano) (Accentus Music)The sheer perfection of Bach’s output can be unsettling, and faintly terrifying. So it's pleasing to find a musician who's so keen to highlight his friendlier, cuddlier side. Zhu Xiao-Mei...

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Grosvenor, Filarmonica della Scala, Chailly, Barbican review - Tchaikovsky’s force of destiny shines bright

You could probably guess from the assembling audience that the orchestra making its Barbican debut last night came from Milan. That many mink coats rarely congregate in a London concert hall. And under the baton of its music director Riccardo...

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Alexander Melnikov, Wigmore Hall review - three pianos, four monsterworks

Living-museum recitals on a variety of historic instruments pose logistical problems. Telling The Arts Desk about his award-nominated CD of mostly 19th-century works for horns and pianos, Alec Frank-Gemmill remarked on the near-impossibility of...

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Lortie, BBC Philharmonic, Gardner, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review – whipping up a storm

Edward Gardner was back on familiar ground when he conducted in Manchester last night – his high-profile career began when he was appointed as the Hallé’s first-ever assistant conductor, early in Sir Mark Elder’s era – and his rapport with young...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Brahms, Janáček, George Martin, Dmitry Masleev

 Brahms: Clarinet Sonatas, Janáček: Sonata (arr. Brill) Shirley Brill, Jonathan Aner (piano) (Hänssler Classic)Brahms's pair of clarinet sonatas are the epitome of autumnosity, were such a word to exist. Pipe-and-slippers music, which isn't...

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Joseph Houston, St John's Smith Square review - masterful MC in the theatre of piano

Joseph Houston’s recital gave us the piano exposed, sent up, psychoanalysed; in short, piano as theatre. And whether silently depressing keys or creating chords with an elbow, the young Berlin-based pianist brought formidable focus and unshowy...

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