sat 19/01/2019

Wigmore Hall

Winterreise, Gerhaher, Huber, Wigmore Hall review - wintry beauty

As Wigmore Hall audiences really ought to know, silence can be golden. Especially at the close of Schubert’s Winterreise, as the uncanny drone-like fifths of the hurdy-gurdy in “Der Leiermann” fade away into – well, whatever state of mind the singer...

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Alice Coote, Christian Blackshaw, Wigmore Hall review – deep feeling and high drama

In the recital world, so it sometimes seems, no good deed ever goes unpunished. Like Ian Bostridge (another singer who tries to reinvigorate an often rigid format), Alice Coote often has to fend off brickbats whenever she inject the drama of new...

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Mahan Esfahani / Richard Goode, Wigmore Hall review - clarity and contrast from two keyboard masters

Two successive nights, two contrasted solo keyboard recitals at the Wigmore Hall: not great for the knees but marvellous for the soul. On Saturday the Tehran-born, US-raised harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani continued a mammoth project: he has been...

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Thomas Adès, Wigmore Hall review - playful and erratic Janáček

Janáček has been an abiding passion for Thomas Adès. As both composer and performer, Adès revels in the whimsical and the absurd, and he finds both in Janáček’s piano works. This recital presented the complete surviving piano music of Janáček (...

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The English Concert, Bicket, Wigmore Hall review – small-scale Bach

It’s Christmas already at Wigmore Hall. Or advent at least – this concert of Bach Advent cantatas was presented by the English Concert without apology or qualification, despite it still being the middle of November. But it proved a welcome fillip...

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Federico Colli, Wigmore Hall review – poised on the edge of the possible

The Italian pianist Federico Colli, 30, best known so far as winner of the 2012 Leeds International Piano Competition, last night arrived for his Wigmore Hall debut sporting an emerald-green cravat, but the sonic colours he magicked out of the piano...

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Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier - Book 2, Hewitt, Wigmore Hall review – high drama in 24 short acts

Bach specialists like to explain that the second book of preludes and fugues in The Well-Tempered Clavier, composed around 1740 and thus almost two decades after the first, draws on more of the fancy and daring “modern” music of its time than its...

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Ian Bostridge, Thomas Adès, Wigmore Hall review - haunting, brutal Schubert

Winterreise brings out the best from Ian Bostridge, and the worst. His dedication to understanding and communicating its complex and harrowing text is everywhere apparent, and this was an emotionally draining evening. But his style of delivery has...

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Elisabeth Leonskaja, Wigmore Hall review - Mozart and Webern, anyone?

“What is it about Mozart?” wondered the legendary pianist Sviatoslav Richter, pointing out the composer's frightening demands of accuracy and lucidity. Even though many pianists today command technique to spare, a Mozart fear factor tends to keep...

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Imogen Cooper, Wigmore Hall review – Viennese schools refreshed

In the right hands, the music of the various Viennese Schools can still sound almost startlingly original. Imogen Cooper’s are very much the right hands, containing a rare, refined artistry that only continues to grow with the years. In her Wigmore...

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Karen Cargill, Simon Lepper, Wigmore Hall review - opulence within bounds

Singing satirist Anna Russell placed the French chanson in her category of songs for singers "with no voice but tremendous artistry". Mezzo Karen Cargill has tremendous artistry but also a very great voice indeed, a mysterious gift which makes her...

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Nikolai Lugansky / Pavel Kolesnikov, Wigmore Hall review - lucidity and depth from two master pianists

Reaching for philosophical terms seems appropriate enough for two deep thinkers among Russian pianists (strictly speaking, Kolesnikov is Siberian-born, London-based). In what Kant defined as the phenomenal world, the tangible circumstances, there...

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