tue 02/03/2021

Tchaikovsky

Coote, Blackshaw, Fiennes, Wigmore Hall online review – lonely hearts club band

Why, in Lieder singing above all, should an outpouring of deep feeling so frighten critics? Alice Coote’s unabashed emotionalism as a recitalist can sometimes bring out the worst in the stiff-upper-lip brigade, as reactions to her high-impact...

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The Nutcracker: an end-of-year obituary

If dance lovers have learnt anything in recent months it's to take nothing for granted. How could we ever have been so blasé about The Nutcracker, whose annual reappearance in multiple productions was as inevitable as crowds on Oxford Street? As a...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Kirill Petrenko, Avi Avital, Ravel

 Berliner Philharmoniker/Kirill Petrenko: Music by Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Franz Schmidt, Rudi Stephan (Berliner Philharmoniker Recordings)Kirill Petrenko’s supposed indifference to making recordings is overstated: there’s a whole load of stuff...

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City of London Sinfonia, Southwark Cathedral / Kanneh-Masons, Barbican review - soaring teamwork

“Live music is back,” runs the Barbican's latest slogan, so treasure it and get out there while you can. Thursday evening in London offered an embarrassment of riches. I chose the City of London Sinfonia live in Southwark Cathedral over the Kanneh-...

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The Encore, Opera Holland Park review - stylish return for a squad of old friends

As Dvořák’s "Song to the Moon" from Rusalka rose to its impassioned climax, Natalya Romaniw had to battle a helicopter thumping overhead. The helicopter lost (well, of course it did). As Nardus Williams and David Butt Phillip disappeared into...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Holst, Nielsen, Piatti, Tchaikovsky

 Holst: The Planets; Nielsen: Helios Overture Mythos (Bjarke Mogensen and Rasmus Schjaerff Kjøller, accordions) (Mythos)Pairing Nielsen’s Helios Overture with Holst’s The Planets makes total sense, and one’s surprised that it’s not been done...

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Eugene Onegin, Komische Oper, OperaVision review - sensual and devastating

Liberated from Pushkin’s salons, ballrooms and bedrooms, Barrie Kosky’s Eugene Onegin bursts out into nature. Tatyana and Olga lounge in the long grass stealing heavy fingerfuls of jam straight from the jar; party-guests run through the trees with...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Christmas CDs 1

 Bach: Christmas Oratorio Thomanerchor Leipzig, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig/Gotthold Schwarz (Accentus)Another year, another new Bach Christmas Oratorio. This one is happily among the best, its plus points including a slimmed down Leipzig...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Josquin, Tchaikovsky, Janet Sung

 Josquin: Missa Mater Patris, Bauldeweyn: Missa Da pacem The Tallis Scholars/Peter Philips (Gimmell)Josquin's Missa Mater Patris is a late work, the composer's florid style pared down and clarified to the extent that some commentators suggested...

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Wallfisch, Northern Chamber Orchestra, Stoller Hall, Manchester review - Weinberg UK premiere

Everyone’s doing Weinberg now, or so it seems. The Polish-born composer who became a close friend of Shostakovich was born 100 years ago, and there’s plenty of his music to go round. Raphael Wallfisch gave the UK premiere of his Cello...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Axel Borup-Jørgensen, Purcell, Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra

 Floating Islands: Guitar music by Axel Borup-Jørgensen Frederik Munk Larsen (guitar) (OUR Recordings)Carl Nielsen cast a long shadow over the generation of Danish composers who succeeded him, and there's mention here of post-war musicians...

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Prom 69: Stikhina, Czech Philharmonic, Bychkov – dark textures and powerful passions

Semyon Bychkov was a surprising choice to take over the Czech Philharmonic last year, a conductor with few obvious connections to Czech music. But on the strength of this visit to the Proms, they make a good team. Bychkov communicates fluently with...

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