thu 25/07/2024

Stravinsky

Josefowicz, LPO, Järvi, RFH review - friendly monsters

At first glance, this looked like an odd coupling: Stravinsky’s Violin Concerto from 1931, all spiky neo-classicism and short-winded expressionist sparkle, as a tributary opening before the mighty rolling stream of Bruckner’s Seventh Symphony.Yet in...

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Classical CDs: Toccatas, taxi horns and tortoises

 William Steinberg: Complete Command Classics Recordings (DG)It’s hard to find a bad word said against conductor William Steinberg, cited by one critic as combining the best attributes of Toscanini and Klemperer. Born in Cologne in 1899,...

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The New Look, AppleTV+ review - lavish period drama with more width than depth

The frocks, the pearls, the chicest branding of any perfume in the world… Sorry, this is not what The New Look is about, for those who swooned at the V&A’s recent Chanel exhibition. The title promises a different focus, on the designer who...

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Classical CDs: Fringes, canons and contests

 Leif Ove Andsnes: The Warner Classics Edition 1990-2010 (Warner Classics)It’s good to review a compendious box set celebrating a musician who’s very much still around. The 36 discs in this set certainly aren’t what you’d call historical...

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Radulović, Hallé, de la Parra, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - fun for the young

Back on home ground, the Hallé begin 2024 in Manchester with a repeated programme. I heard the first of three performances this week. It includes one piece they played only 10 days ago on a tour in Spain with the orchestra’s new principal...

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Ruisi, Hallé, Elder, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - returning to Ravel’s glories

Continuing the retrospective aspect of his final season as music director of the Hallé, Sir Mark Elder returned last night to Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloé, the work with which he opened the orchestra’s 2014-15 Manchester series to such memorable effect....

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Classical CDs: Microphones, Massachusetts and mountains

 Antal Doráti: The Mercury Masters – The Mono Recordings (Decca Eloquence)The great Hungarian conductor Antal Doráti (1906-1988) enjoyed a long and prolific recording career, stretching from the mid-1940s to the early 1980s. This beautifully...

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Classical CDs: Peasant weddings, chilly vistas and bass drums

 Louise Farrenc: Symphonies 1-3 Insula Orchestra/Laurence Equilbey (Erato)Louise Farrenc (1804-1875) is not perhaps the best-known name among pre-20th century women composers garnering increased attention recent years – but she might be the...

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Classical CDs: Beer, brio and tubular bells

 Shostakovich: Symphonies 8, 9 and 10 Berliner Philharmoniker/Kirill Petrenko (Berlin Phil Media)Potential purchasers worrying that the Berlin sound might be a little too well-upholstered for Shostakovich needn’t worry; one striking aspect of...

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National Youth Orchestra, Gourlay, RFH review - non-stop jamboree at the highest level

What a manifesto against those in power who seem determined to knock the UK off its hard-won classical music pedestal: hundreds of young choristers and instrumentalists of two fabulous orchestras in a week-long celebration of innovative programming...

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Classical CDs: Infernal dances, hammered dulcimer and musical taxidermy

 Nadia & Lili Boulanger: Les Heures Claires - The Complete Songs Lucile Richardot (mezzo), Stéphane Degout (baritone), Raquel Camarinha (soprano), Anne de Fornel (piano), Sarah Nemtanu (violin), Emmanuelle Bertrand (cello) (Harmonia Mundi)...

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Classical CDs: Fireworks, floods and unpleasant glimpses

 Debussy: Piano Works Volume 2 Dennis Lee (piano) (ICSM Records)I’m a huge fan of Colin Matthews’ idiomatic orchestral transcriptions of Debussy’s Préludes, so much so that it’s been a good few years since I’ve listened to the piano originals....

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