sun 25/09/2022

Prokofiev

Prom 40, Moore, RPO, Petrenko review - orchestral clarity, and a persuasive trombonist

It does need saying: the RPO may receive less frequent plaudits than some of their London peers, but this is a fine and wonderfully responsive orchestra with a distinctive character.The string sections have a natural opulence and warmth in their...

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Classical CDs: Violins, timpani thwacks and a symphony of iron and steel

 Gidon Kremer: The Warner Collection (Warner Classics)The words of dedication in Gidon Kremer’s autobiography, Between Worlds (2003) are chosen with care. The book is, he wrote, for “all those who are seeking their way”. The Latvian-born...

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Classical CDs: Two bass drums, three oranges and seven symphonies

 Prokofiev: The Symphonies Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra/Andrew Litton (BIS)The first CD alone (containing almost 87 minutes of music!) in this five-disc set should be enough to convince you to buy the whole thing. Andrew Litton’s Bergen...

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Romeo and Juliet, Birmingham Royal Ballet & Royal Ballet review - a storming start to the season

Two households, both alike in dignity … and both launching their respective seasons with a production of Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet. For neither the Royal Ballet nor its midlands sibling Birmingham Royal Ballet is this a surprising...

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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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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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