tue 28/01/2020

piano

Shostakovich 24 Preludes and Fugues, Igor Levit, Barbican review - an eagle's-eye view

"Citizen. European. Pianist," declares Russian-born, Berlin-based Igor Levit on the front page of his website. One should add, since he wouldn't, Mensch and master of giants. High-level human integrity seems a given when great pianists essay epics:...

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Elisabeth Leonskaja, Wigmore Hall review - pure musical essence

"What is it about Mozart?" asked Sviatoslav Richter in 1982. "Is there a pianist alive who really manages to play him well?...Haydn is infinitely less difficult to play (he's almost easy, in fact). So what is Mozart's secret?" Just over a decade...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Schubert, Shostakovich, Berlinskaya-Ancelle Piano Duo

 Schubert: Symphony No 9 Scottish Chamber Orchestra/Maxim Emelyanychev (Linn)There’s a telling photo of Maxim Emelyanychev on page 11 of Linn's booklet, the conductor beaming at the camera, the body language suggesting he's having a hard time...

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Albums of the Year 2019: Mark Turner Meets Gary Foster

As the attention-jostling hype becomes ever more unashamed, we get further from the music. The myths and the 'message' get louder, to the point where the question of whether the music itself might actually be worth hearing can become secondary. I've...

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Kolesnikov, Tsoy, Currie, Walton, Wigmore Hall review - mesmerising sonorities

Fine-tuning piano sound to Wigmore acoustics can elude even the greatest. Add a second Steinway and a wide range of percussion instruments, and the risks would seem to be hugely increased. So it was amazing to witness what seemed like sonic...

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Schiff, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Fischer, Barbican review – generosity and geniality

There are encores and encores – most a friendly, minimal farewell gesture from the soloist; some a jolly, festive unwind after a particularly taxing piece. And then there’s the luxury free gift that Sir András Schiff bestowed on us during the second...

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Wang, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Dudamel, Barbican review - much more than glitz and glamour

The megastars are here at the Barbican, for an intensive three days in the case of the LA Phil and Gustavo Dudamel, throughout the season as the hall shines an "Artist Spotlight" on pianist Yuja Wang. Despite a shallow opener showcasing the...

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ECO, Zacharias, Fairfield Halls Croydon review - green-fingered Haydn

Switch off for a phrase or two and it’s easy to miss the point in a Haydn symphony that makes each one of them odd and unique. In No. 74, played last night with understated class by the English Chamber Orchestra, that point occurs in the first...

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Daniil Trifonov, RFH review - devil in the works

For the first 20 or so minutes and the second encore of this generous recital, I turned into a Trifonite, in thrall to the 28-year-old Russian pianist's communicative powers. Has Scriabin, in an imperious sweep from early to late, ever made more...

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Gerstein, LPO, Adès, RFH review - engaging new piano concerto

Every ten years or so Thomas Adès writes a piano concerto and the latest had its UK premiere last night at the Royal Festival Hall, played by Kirill Gerstein and conducted by Adès himself. Following on from the youthful, skittish Concerto Conciso of...

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Andsnes, Oslo Philharmonic, Petrenko, Barbican review – polish and passion

The Oslo Philharmonic finished its centenary tour of Europe at the Barbican last night with ample proof that it consistently delivers one of the continent’s most well-rounded, and richly satisfying, orchestral sounds. The Norwegians’ modern history...

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Imogen Cooper 70th Birthday Concert, Wigmore Hall review - outwardly austere, lit from within

There are now two septuagenarians playing Schubert at a level no other living pianist can touch. Imogen Cooper celebrated her 70th birthday on 28 August, and marked it at the Wigmore Hall last night with a two-interval epic, poised but full of inner...

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