wed 27/10/2021

piano

Gabriela Montero, Kings Place review - improvising to a Chaplin classic is the icing on a zesty cake

As the Statue of Liberty appears in Charlie Chaplin’s The Immigrant, our improvising pianist proclaims “The Star-Spangled Banner”, only for it to slide dangerously. The passengers on the ship taking them to a new life are brutally cordoned by the...

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Geniušas, SCO, Emelyanychev, Usher Hall, Edinburgh review - glorious return to a much-missed venue

This concert almost had me in tears before a single note was played because it marked (joy!) the first classical concert to take place in the Usher Hall since it was shut in March 2020. She has been closed for eighteen long months, but she hasn’t...

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Album: Helen Sung – Quartet+

Dazzling. That was the first adjective with which the illustrious Marian McPartland described Helen Sung’s piano playing, when she had the remarkable Houston-born pianist as her guest for an episode of the NPR radio show Piano Jazz in 2006.On...

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Elisabeth Leonskaja / Goldmund Quartet, Edinburgh International Festival review - established and emerging stars shine bright

A gem in Edinburgh International Festival’s classical music programming has always been the Queen’s Hall series. Hosting some of the finest chamber musicians on the international stage, that venue has seen countless incredible, more intimate...

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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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