wed 22/09/2021

Rachmaninov

Leeds International Piano Competition Finals, Leeds Town Hall review - a hi-tech, low carbon musical celebration

It’s easy to forget that what you see in a competition final isn’t always the full story, the jury members’ votes in this case based on what had gone on in the earlier rounds. The 20th Leeds International Piano Competition began its final stages in...

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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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Hough, Hallé, Elder, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester online review - brassy, bouncy optimism

Sir Mark Elder is back with the Hallé for the latest (and penultimate) filmed concert in their “Winter Season” of 2020 and 2021, including the world premiere of Huw Watkins' Second Symphony. He introduces it from the Bridgewater Hall foyer, and...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Rachmaninov, Shostakovich, Aisha Orazbayeva

 Rachmaninoff in Lucerne – Rhapsody, Op. 43, Symphony No. 3 Behzod Abduraimov (piano), Luzerner Sinfonieorchester/James Gaffigan (Sony)I’m the only person I know who rates Walton’s Symphony No. 2 as highly as his first, and I’m probably also...

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A Russian Youth, MUBI review - First World War setting, contemporary orchestra

Alexander Tolotukhin’s debut film places the viewer into a microcosm of the first world war and frames the experience with a peculiar musical device. Spliced between grainy images of trenches, artillery strikes and field hospitals are shots of a...

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Gabetta, NHK SO, Järvi, RFH review - transparency and dynamism

This concert represented the British leg of the NHK Symphony Orchestra’s European tour. Tokyo’s radio orchestra is Japan’s flagship ensemble, and they are fine advocates for the country’s thriving musical culture, the playing precise and the tone...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Eller, Musorgsky, Rachmaninov

 Heino Eller: Symphonic Poems – Night Calls, White Night, Twilight, Dawn Estonian National Symphony Orchestra/Olari Elts (Ondine)Heino Eller was described as the ‘Estonian Sibelius’ in the first decades of the last century. Predictably, the...

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Preludes, Southwark Playhouse review - journeying into the mind of Rachmaninoff

Where does music come from? That’s the vital question posed to Sergei Rachmaninoff in Dave Malloy’s extraordinary 2015 chamber work, as the great late-Romantic Russian composer – stuck in his third year of harrowing writer’s block – tries to...

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Prom 63: Wang, Staatskapelle Dresden, Chung review – private passions

Weirdly enough, it was “Tea for Two” that definitively proved her class for me. As a second encore to Rachmaninov’s Third Piano Concerto, after a mesmeric transcription of that composer’s Vocalise, Yuja Wang’s goodbye treat channelled the mighty Art...

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Prom 23: Floristán, BBC Philharmonic, Gernon review - concerto lacks heft

Ben Gernon is only 30 (and looks about ten years younger) but has been Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic since 2017. He really impressed in last night’s Prom but, after an exciting overture, things fell away a bit with an under-...

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theartsdesk at the Three Choirs Festival - the beautiful and the damned

Our greatest Berlioz scholar, David Cairns, has called Le Damnation de Faust “an opera of the mind’s eye, not of the stage,” and I’ve certainly never seen a production that successfully staged its curious, episodic, actionless mixture of set piece,...

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A Previn treasury

In a way, he was a second Bernstein. Only 11 years Lenny's junior, and living to the much riper age of 89 – his 90th birthday would have been on 6 April – André Previn was a film composer and arranger at the start of his 70-plus-year career, a jazz...

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