mon 28/11/2022

Rachmaninov

Classical CDs: Death, dragons and sea shanties

 The Playhouse Sessions: Bjarte Eike, Barokksolistene (Rubicon)The Playhouse Sessions is a follow-up to the irresistible Alehouse Sessions, in which Bjarte Eikke and his Barokksolistene recreate a 17th century London pub gig, where sea shanties...

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Kolesnikov, Hallé, Elder, Manchester review - commanding Smetana, Rachmaninov and Strauss

As Sir Mark Elder begins his penultimate season as music director of the Hallé, it’s clear that his command of, and communication with, the orchestra are as complete and purpose-driven as ever. It’s the first Thursday series concert of the new...

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Classical CDs: Civil service, bassoon laments and a historic keyboard

 Mozart: The Piano Sonatas (Robert Levin, playing Mozart’s fortepiano) (ECM New Series)There is no doubt about the brilliant uniqueness of pianist, conductor, musicologist and one-time Nadia Boulanger pupil Robert Levin, an influential Harvard...

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Classical CDs: Five-pointed stars, unspecified instrumentation and talented siblings

 Brahms Lieder Anna Lucia Richter (mezzo-soprano), Ammiel Bushakevitz (piano) (Pentatone)Ein süßes Deingedenken: A Tender Memory of Thee – Lieder by Fanny and Felix Mendelssohn Kateryna Kasper (soprano), Dmitry Ablogin (piano) (TYXArt)These two...

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The Miserly Knight / Mavra, Scottish Opera review - a bold double act in the heart of Scotland

To stage a double bill of unusual 20th century Russian operas would be brave at the best of times. To do so in the Fair City of Perth amply demonstrates Scottish Opera’s laudable commitment to extend its influence beyond the Edinburgh-Glasgow...

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Wang, Czech Philharmonic, Bychkov, Barbican review - the sound of history

“The past is never dead,” William Faulkner famously wrote. “It’s not even past.” Funny to think that I approached 2022 bored in advance with all the glib celebrations of post-WWI international modernist breakthroughs that the centenary of Ulysses...

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Bartlett, LPO, Mathieson, Congress Theatre, Eastbourne review – Rhymes, Rhapsody and Winter Daydreams

Who could have imagined the table-turning controversy that might have cast doubt on the inclusion of works by Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky when planning this programme?Before raising the baton, Holly Mathieson expressed the hope that Russian music...

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Bournemouth SO, Karabits, Lighthouse, Poole review - go east!

Focusing on music composed in the former countries of the old Soviet Union, the BSO’s latest concert in Kirill Karabits’ ongoing enterprising series Voices from the East featured the UK premiere of the Second Symphony by Chary Nurymov (1940-1993), a...

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Feng, CBSO, Wilson, Symphony Hall Birmingham review - effortless expression

As the conductor of English National Opera’s 2018 production of Porgy and Bess, there can’t be many maestros in the UK who can currently match John Wilson’s knowledge of that extraordinary score. And there are surely none who can rival Wilson’s...

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Baeva, Ulster Orchestra, Rustioni, Ulster Hall, Belfast review - magic from an Italian star conductor

At last! The eagerly awaited first opportunity in the new 2021-22 Belfast concert season to catch up with the Ulster Orchestra’s Chief Conductor, Daniele Rustioni has arrived. He took up his appointment for the new autumn season in 2019, but the...

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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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