mon 16/01/2017

Bach

Gerhardt, Aurora Orchestra, Collon, Kings Place

What's not to like, or love, would have to be the sensible response to both the opening programme of Kings Place's year-long Cello Unwrapped festival at Kings Place and its life-enhancing execution. Symmetries abounded – between Alban Gerhardt's...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Fauré, Poulenc, Franui, Sami Junnonen

Aubade – Music by Fauré and Poulenc Västerås Sinfonietta/Howard Shelley (piano and conductor) (dB Productions)January blues? Those afflicted should self-medicate with this collection instead of nipping down to the nearest off-licence. Nothing cheers...

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Natalie Clein: 'The cello is part of my being'

The cello is so deeply engrained in my fingers, my imagination, it’s part of my being – my life would feel amputated without it. You fall in love with the instrument, the music, and then you embark on the life-long task of trying to get closer to...

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Best of 2016: Classical

Revelations in the classical year never stop coming. Even the week before Christmas yielded two performances as good as you're going to get: the sheer effervescence and light-flourishing of Lucy Crowe in ecstatic Bach and Mozart with La Nuova Musica...

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Alan Bennett’s Diaries, BBC Two

Gather round the fire, friends: no Santa down the chimney this Christmas Eve, but the curiously comforting Alan Bennett, with his sardonic and occasionally optimistic diaries. The latest published instalment has the slightly wry title Keeping On...

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Crowe, La Nuova Musica, Bates, St John's Smith Square

Five seconds of cadenza in Mozart's Exsultate Jubilate would be enough to tell you that there's no more magical stylist among sopranos than Lucy Crowe. In an evening of Allelujas, Glorias and heartfelt Amens beautifully modulated by director of...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Christmas 2016 (part 2)

Bach: Christmas Oratorio Dunedin Consort/John Butt (Linn)This set makes a brilliant counterpoint to last week’s modern instrument Sony recording, an earthier, differently flavoured set from one of the UK’s best period ensembles. John Butt uses just...

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Monteverdi Choir, English Baroque Soloists, Gardiner, Barbican

Add three natural trumpets, flawlessly wielded, to chorus and standard period-instrument orchestra, and the seasonal spirit will flow no matter the context. It's true that Bach's Magnificat is not that common a visitor at this time of year -...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Christmas 2016 (part 1)

Bach: Christmas Oratorio Windsbacher Knabenchor, Deutsche Kammer-Virtuosen Berlin/Karl Friedrich Beringer (Cantatas 1-3) and Martin Lehman (nos. 4-6) (Sony)Two notable versions of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio have just appeared – John Butt’s will be...

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Uchida, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, RFH

Leonard Bernstein once said that his favourite piece of Stravinsky was whatever one he happened to be listening to. I have a similar feeling about Mozart piano concertos: I love them all in their turn, and last night I heard Mitsuko Uchida bring two...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Pianist Idil Biret at 75

Has any living pianist had a richer or more charmed life than Idil Biret? As a child prodigy she studied in Paris with Nadia Boulanger and Alfred Cortot, and both there and in Germany with Wilhelm Kempff. At the age of four she was reproducing Bach...

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Jeremy Denk, Wigmore Hall

Medieval to Modern – Jeremy Denk’s Wigmore Hall recital took us on a whistle-stop tour of Western music, beginning with Machaut in the mid-14th century and ending with Ligeti at the end of the 20th. The programme was made up of 25 short works, each...

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