thu 16/08/2018

Shostakovich

Prom 4, Simpson, BBCPO, Mena review - terrific Lindberg, brooding Shostakovich

The fourth Prom of this season featured only two contrasting pieces, pitching the unabashed joyfulness and good humour of Lindberg’s Clarinet Concerto against the angst and defiance of Shostakovich’s “Leningrad” Symphony. It was the former that left...

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Benedetti, LSO, Noseda, Barbican review – power and focus

Shostakovich is ideal for Nicola Benedetti. His music requires effortless and understated virtuosity, as well as a confident and commanding maturity of interpretation. Benedetti has been demonstrating these qualities since her late teens, and all...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Messiaen, Shostakovich, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra

  Messiaen: Catalogue d’Oiseaux Pierre-Laurent Aimard (Pentatone)The title Catalogue d’Oiseaux suggests a dusty ornithological textbook. And Messiaen implied that all he’d done to compose this ear-tickling sequence of piano pieces was to...

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Los Angeles Philharmonic, Dudamel, Barbican review - brilliant if overwhelming showcase

Insistence was the name of the LA Phil's first game in its short but ambitious three-day Barbican residency - insistence honed to a perfect sheen and focus, but wearing, for this listener at least, some way in to the Shostakovich Fifth Symphony...

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Violinist Eldbjørg Hemsing: 'in the moments when magic happens, you think, that's why we do this'

In a classical recording industry seemingly obsessed with marketing beautiful young female violinists, but very often presenting them in repertoire to which most of them seem to have little individual to add, how do you make your mark? Norwegian...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Borgström, Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky, Alec Frank-Gemmill

 Borgström: Violin Concerto, Shostakovich: Violin Concerto No. 1 Eldbjørg Hemsing (violin), Wiener Symphoniker/Olari Elts (BIS)Hjalmar Borgström sounds like the name of a BBC Four gumshoe, a melancholy detective solving crimes in downtown...

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Wang, RSNO, Oundjian, Usher Hall, Edinburgh review - percussion sets Shostakovich's 'Leningrad' ablaze

Featuring two Russian composers, the two halves of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra’s programme could hardly have been more different. In the first, pianist Xiayin Wang (pictured below) joined the RSNO for Scriabin’s florid, rarely-heard...

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Andsnes, LPO, Jurowski, RFH review - dazzling symphonic contrasts, plus oddities

Kudos, as ever, to Vladimir Jurowski for making epic connections. Not only did he bookend a rich LPO concert with two very different symphonies from the late 1930s by Stravinsky and Shostakovich; he also masterminded and attended the early evening...

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Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Royal Opera review - bleak rigour and black comedy still cast a spell

Anyone who's seen Richard Jones's rigorous production before will remember the makeover – Katerina Izmailova, bored and brutalised housewife released by sex and murder from her shackles, having her drab bedroom expanded and redecorated in deliberate...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Shostakovich, Christoph Prégardien, Nataša Mirkovič

Shostakovich: Symphony No 6, Sinfonietta (Quartet No 8, arr. Abram Stasevich) Estonian Festival Orchestra/Paavo Järvi (Alpha Classics)The one false note here comes in the form of Paavo Järvi’s description of Shostakovich's Symphony No 6, referring...

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Weilerstein, Platt, Hallé, Elder, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - insight and passion

Alisa Weilerstein is making two visits to Manchester in just over three weeks. Last night it was with the Hallé, next time she’ll be guesting with the Czech Philharmonic. This one was to play the solo in Shostakovich’s First Cello Concerto, with Sir...

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Capuçon, BBCPO, Mena, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - awesome unity

Shostakovich’s First Violin Concerto is a big work in every sense: four movements, plus a solo cadenza before the last one that makes it seem almost like five; a soloist’s role that even David Oistrakh (for whom it was first written) found taxing;...

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