tue 17/07/2018

Sibelius

Pick of the 2018 BBC Proms: women composers first and last, blockbuster Bernstein

Let's be honest, this is the least interesting Proms season on paper for years, at least in terms of adventurous repertoire choices, following on the heels of the best in 2017. Yet in statistical terms it's more comprehensive and multi-media-...

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Dickson, SCO, Swensen, Queen's Hall, Edinburgh review - world premiere of a bold new work

It’s as intricate as it is concise. The depth to the architecture of James MacMillan’s Saxophone Concerto – which was given its world premiere this week by saxophonist Amy Dickson and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra – is quite astounding, and all the...

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Komsi, BBCSO, Oramo, Barbican Hall review - Sibelius series ends in glory

Twelfth Night, Epiphany, call it what you will, is one reminder that there's continuity after the turn of the year. Another was Sakari Oramo's final Sibelius-plus concert with the BBC Symphony Orchestra - a predictable triumph given that the...

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Best of 2017: Classical concerts

Did Simon Rattle's return to the UK as Principal Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra live up to the hype? Mostly, and when it did, the music-making was superbly alive. But it's vital to observe that another orchestra and chief conductor have...

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Salonen conducts Sibelius, RFH/Oramo conducts Salonen, Barbican review - Finnish psychedelia

After Sakari Oramo's dazzling Sibelius rattlebag with the BBC Symphony Orchestra on the centenary day of Finnish independence, things weren't looking so good for Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Philharmonia at half time last Thursday (★★★). Then along...

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Johnston, BBCSO, Oramo, Barbican review - sheer adrenalin in early Sibelius

As the Parliament of the Autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland within the Russian Empire declared independence on 6 December 1917, Sibelius had his head down working on the third version of his Fifth Symphony, the one so hugely popular today. He tried...

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Batiashvili, BBCSO, Oramo, Barbican review - electricity in Sibelius and Hillborg

Even given the peerless standards already set by Sakari Oramo and the BBC Symphony Orchestra in their Sibelius cycle, this instalment was always going to be the toughest, featuring the most elusive of the symphonies, the Sixth, and the sparest, the...

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Leif Ove Andsnes, RFH review - interior magic from a master colourist

Such introspective subtlety might be mistaken for reticence. But from the rare instances when the Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes lets rip - and they're never forced - you know he's wielding his palette with both skill and intuition, waiting for...

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Bavouzet, BBCSO, Oramo, Barbican review - playing the long game in Sibelius

Perhaps Sibelius did the right thing, signing off Tapiola in 1926 and then all but closing his account, spending the next three decades sitting and drinking. Over in Paris, his near-contemporary Florent Schmitt carried on, beavering away not only as...

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Santtu-Matias Rouvali on conducting in Gothenburg - 'they just want to make music. No bullshit'

Sweden's ackowledged "National Orchestra", the Gothenburg Symphony, left its Chief Conductor post unfilled for four seasons, but now it's finally certain to have let the right one in. Having enjoyed a golden age in the (largely unsung) highest...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Sibelius, Vivaldi, Weill

Sibelius: Piano Music Leif Ove Andsnes (Sony)Yes, Sibelius did write piano music, though not a lot of it gets heard. A recent BIS collection featured original pieces and transcriptions played on the composer's own piano, and Glenn Gould recorded a...

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Kuusisto, Philharmonia, Salonen, RFH review - Icelanders fare better than Sibelius

London orchestras do communicate with each other, sometimes at least, when it comes to programming. It can’t have been a coincidence that on Wednesday we had one Finnish chief conductor, Sakari Oramo launching his BBC Symphony Orchestra Sibelius...

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