wed 22/09/2021

Prokofiev

Ólafsson, Philharmonia, Järvi, BBC Proms review - a ravishing Proms debut

What does it mean to be Classical? It’s the question award-winning Icelandic pianist Víkingur Ólafsson has consistently asked in a career that has collided music from Bach to Debussy, presenting them as part of a single conversation and continuum....

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Classical CDs: wolves, woodwinds and a masonic funeral

 Martha Argerich Edition (EuroArts)Almost eight hours of Martha Argerich on film. What a glorious prospect! This six-DVD set mostly consists of recordings of live concerts. The set was released to celebrate the great Argentinian’s 80th birthday...

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Classical CDs: Three great conductors remembered, Mahler with accordion and a song cycle with no singer

 André Previn: The Warner Edition – Complete HMV & Teldec Recordings (Warner Classics)Flicking through this box set will provoke a Proustian rush if you’re of a certain age. These recordings were mostly made for EMI, though Warner Classics...

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Classical CDs: Janáček, Myaskovsky, Prokofiev, John Wilson

 Janáček: The Cunning Little Vixen, Sinfonietta Lucy Crowe, Gerald Finley, Sophia Burgos London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus/Sir Simon Rattle (LSO Live)You know this is going to be good within seconds of Act 1 awakening, Janáček’s arboreal...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Bruckner, Elgar, Prokofiev

 Bruckner: Symphony No. 8 Australian World Orchestra/Sir Simon Rattle (ABC Classics)I love Bruckner’s mature symphonies, but they still baffle me. Mostly in terms of how certain performances work, or don’t work, and the near-impossibility of...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Beethoven, Prokofiev, A Tale of Two Violas

 Beethoven: Complete Piano Sonatas Fazil Say (Warner Classics)“This is a 605 minute piece containing 32 sonatas.” There's some bewildering verbiage from pianist Fazil Say near the back of Warners’ booklet, Say describing the creation of his ‘...

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Simon Trpčeski, Barbican review - a charismatic chameleon

When Macedonian pianist Simon Trpčeski first bounced on to the concert scene, he seemed part will-o-the-wisp, part jack-in-the-box, a real personality of coruscating brilliance. Time has passed, and deeper, more reflective qualities have emerged...

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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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Classical CDs Weekly: Axel Borup-Jørgensen, Purcell, Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra

 Floating Islands: Guitar music by Axel Borup-Jørgensen Frederik Munk Larsen (guitar) (OUR Recordings)Carl Nielsen cast a long shadow over the generation of Danish composers who succeeded him, and there's mention here of post-war musicians...

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Matthew Bourne's Romeo and Juliet, Sadler's Wells review - heart-stopping drama

Your first thought on hearing there's a new Matthew Bourne Romeo and Juliet might well be 'doesn't it exist already?' So obvious does this marriage of high drama, lush iconic score, and Britain's premier dance maker seem that you might well be...

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Prom 17: Shaham, Bavarian RSO, Nézet-Séguin review – a Montrealer brings “l’fun”

Montrealers exude a particular kind of happiness and have wonderfully snappy expressions to convey it: “Chu correc”, means ‘I’m fine’, and “C’est l’fun” means...exactly what it looks like. Yannick Nézet-Séguin is a distinctly proud Montrealer (“It’s...

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Prom 12: Benedetti, National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, Wigglesworth - adrenalin highs and string sound to die for

In the Netherlands, Mark Wigglesworth is already a musical legend for his work with Dutch youth orchestras. Hopefully, in addition to the year and a bit when he wrought miracles at English National Opera, he will become so in the UK after his...

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