thu 03/12/2020

Wigmore Hall

Christine Rice, Julius Drake, Wigmore Hall review - songs of love and death

It began as a Christmas present in the bleakest of winters. In December 1939, as war engulfed Europe, Bertolt Brecht sent a poem to the exiled Kurt Weill in New York. Weill set it as a bittersweet gift for his wife Lotte Lenya. “Nannas Lied” – the...

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Nicky Spence, Jess Dandy, Julius Drake, Wigmore Hall review – Moravian rhapsody

We don’t often see sultry come-to-bed moves in the Wigmore Hall, that chaste Parthenon of refined musical taste. But when Jess Dandy stretched out languidly on stage while offering to show Nicky Spence “how the gypsies sleep”, the temperature shot...

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Proust Night, Wigmore Hall review – the music of memory

In a bold first strike – straight to the gut, surely, for many in the audience – the Wigmore Hall’s “Proust Night” began with an old recording of the Berceuse from Fauré’s Dolly Suite. Clever. How apt that the signature tune from Listen...

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First Person: Cellist Alban Gerhardt on why concert-hall life must go on

With horror I heard on Wednesday that the proud cultural nation of Germany, which invests probably more money per capita in its concert, opera and theatre life than any other country in the world, had decided to close down what I as a German citizen...

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Pavel Kolesnikov, Wigmore Hall review - the stuff of dreams

To plan a programme around The Tempest, its symbolism and the idea of evanescence, the fragility of the human condition, is one thing. To pull it off convincingly is quite another. The young Russian pianist Pavel Kolesnikov not only did so in...

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Allan Clayton, Stephanie Wake-Edwards, James Baillieu, Wigmore Hall review - consummate musicality and technique

Last seen gurning and camping his way across the Royal Opera House stage in absurdist musical fantasy Frankenstein!!, it was a very different Allan Clayton who held the Wigmore Hall in stillness just a few nights later.We’ve seen a lot of the tenor...

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Stephen Kovacevich, Wigmore Hall review - a sublime birthday treat

What do you want to do on your 80th birthday? Well, playing two of your favourite pieces of music at the Wigmore Hall is not a bad option. To celebrate his big day, Stephen Kovacevich returned to the scene of many of his triumphs since 1961,...

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Mariam Batsashvili, Wigmore Hall review – the serious virtuoso

“O wise young judge”, says Shylock to Portia in The Merchant of Venice.It seemed just such a figure who made her way to the piano at the Wigmore Hall last night. Besuited, bespectacled, with a poised upright posture that frees her arms, plus...

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Louise Alder, Roger Vignoles, Wigmore Hall review - German Romanticism meets French eroticism

We may have started out among the wholesome pleasures of nature, but we ended up in the bedroom – once, that is, we had recovered from the flying breasts… Soprano Louise Alder’s recital – the last in the Wigmore Hall’s month-long lunchtime series –...

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Elias Quartet, Wigmore Hall review – sinewy, muscular Beethoven

You could imagine that normality had returned watching the live webcasts from the Wigmore Hall. The Hall has bucked the trend, and managed to present a full autumn season, to a carefully separated but still substantial audience. Yesterday evening’s...

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András Schiff, Wigmore Hall review – passion, reason and refinement

How loud can the applause from a scanty, socially-distanced audience sound? Thunderous enough, as the response to Sir András Schiff’s back-to-back recitals at the Wigmore Hall proved. On both Sunday and Monday evenings, the happy few of 112 – the...

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Danny Driver, Wigmore Hall review - ingenious sleight-of-hand

Like many musicians, Danny Driver had not given a recital since the pandemic took hold in March. His return to the platform took place in the intense spotlight of the Wigmore Hall, broadcast live in BBC Radio 3’s Lunchtime Concert and webcast to the...

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